Ordering Divorce Records

DIVORCE RECORDS

In the early days of Tennessee, divorce requests had to be approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.  The Index to Names in the Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850 will allow you to search if there is a listing for a particular individual.  The Library and Archives can, for a fee, copy up to three chapters from the published Acts of Tennessee.  If an act is located, we can also check to see if a legislative petition is on file for the divorce.

Court minutes are another location to search for records concerning the granting of a divorce.  We recommend that you read the document “Courts Where Tennessee Court Cases Were Tried” to find the types of cases heard by the courts.  The list of County Genealogical Fact Sheets and the Inventory of County Records on Microfilm will give the dates of the court minutes in our collection for the counties of Tennessee.  You must provide the name of the husband & wife, the year of the divorce (or a five year range to search), specify one county, and specify one court to be searched. If the divorce took place after 1834, and involved a dispute over the division of property, then it would have been heard in the Chancery Court;   if the divorce did not involve a dispute over the division of property, then it would have been heard in the Circuit Court.  (See the page on ordering a search of the court minutes for additional information.)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a state-wide divorce index which covers the dates July 1, 1945 - December 31, 1967.  If the divorce took place during this time period, the Library and Archives will search a five year range state-wide for a divorce. You must  to provide us with the name of the husband & wife, the date of the divorce or a five year range to search, and (if known) the county where the divorce was granted.

If the divorce took place prior to July 1, 1945, then the Library and Archives will search a five year range in ONE specified county for a divorce. You must  to provide us with the name of the husband & wife, the date of the divorce or a five year range to search, and specify ONE county where the divorce was granted.

 

Tennessee Divorce Records 1968 - Present

For divorce records from 1968 to the present, contact the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.

 

ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • For a $5 fee, the Library and Archives can photocopy and mail or e-mail copies for up to three Acts from the published series Acts of Tennessee. This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable.  Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Public Services, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2235 -- Printed Index Search Request]

 

  • There is a $10 fee to copy a legislative petition. RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) pay a $5 fee to copy a legislative petition.  This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please submit each search request on a separate form. Orders will be filled promptly and in the order that they are received. Most requests are answered within two weeks of the time they are received by the Library and Archives; however, response times may vary depending on the volume and nature of your request.
  • The Library and Archives can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through  Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs.

 

  • There is a $10 fee to search a five year date span for indexed minutes from the County or Quarterly Court, Circuit Court, or Chancery Court. Residents of Tennessee (with a current Tennessee postal address) pay a $5 fee to search a five year date span for indexed minutes from the County or Quarterly Court, Circuit Court, or Chancery Court.   If the record is found, a copy will be mailed or e-mailed to you. This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please submit each search request on a separate form. Orders will be filled promptly and in the order that they are received. Most requests are answered within two weeks of the time they are received by the Library and Archives; however, response times may vary depending on the volume and nature of your request.
  • The Library and Archives can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through  Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs.

 

  • There is a $10 fee to search a five year range for a divorce record from July 1, 1945 - 1965.  RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) pay a $5 fee to to search a five year range for a divorce record from July 1, 1945 - 1965.   If the record is found, a copy will be mailed or e-mailed to you. This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please submit each search request on a separate form. Orders will be filled promptly and in the order that they are received. Most requests are answered within two weeks of the time they are received by the Library and Archives; however, response times may vary depending on the volume and nature of your request.
  • The Library and Archives can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through  Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs.

 

ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS [Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs]

Some printed indexes and microfilmed records may be available for delivery through our e-mail service.  Requests to be delivered by e-mail, however, must be submitted in the same manner as our Services by Mail requests:  payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department,  403  Seventh Avenue North,  Nashville TN  37243-0312.  If you request electronic delivery of a document, you must check the e-mail box under "Delivery Instructions". If no boxes are marked, or if more than one box is marked, the record will be photocopied and sent via US Mail.

  • Records available through this service are scanned and saved as a .pdf file.  Documents can only be saved as .pdfs.  Patrons can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.
  • Records sent via e-mail service cannot be certified.
  • The Library and Archives will e-mail the record to one e-mail address.
  • If the file size exceeds 10 pages or 15 megabytes, the .pdf file will be placed on a CD and mailed.
  • If it is not feasible to scan the record you are requesting, a print copy will be mailed to you.
  • Due to space limitations, digital copies of records will be maintained on the Library and Archives' server for 30 days.  After 30 days, the digital copies of the records will be deleted from the server.  Once the digital copies of the records have been deleted, they will not be available for e-mail delivery unless another request, along with the required fee, is submitted.
  • Digital copies of records will be sent from the e-mail address reference.tsla@tn.gov

 

CERTIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS

There are situations where a court, insurance company, Social Security Office, nursing home, or genealogical society may require an individual to submit a certified copy of a document. When the Tennessee State Library and Archives certifies a document, the photocopy is marked with a stamp avowing that it is a true and exact copy of a document held at the Library and Archives. The document is signed and dated by a designated Library and Archives staff member, and an embossed seal is placed over the signature and date.

  • If needed, the Library and Archives can certify a copy of a record held in our collection.  There is a fee of $5.00 to certify one copy of the document, in addition to the initial search fee. If you wish for more than one copy of a record to be certified, each additional certification is $5.00.
  • If you think certification may be needed, please indicate this when the initial copy order is placed, as we cannot certify after-the-fact any copies that have left our facility.  We cannot certify copies of items that we have not copied ourselves.  If you decide at a later date that you need items certified that you have already received, we will have to charge you for the order a second time and re-copy all the materials.
  • The Library and Archives cannot certify electronic copies (scans) of documents.
  • If you pay in advance for a record search and certification and the record is not located, neither the search fee nor the certification fee are refundable.  For this reason, when searching for a record that you wish to have certified, the Library and Archives suggests that you use our downloadable form and pay by credit card.  If you pay by credit card and a record is not located, then you will not be charged the additional $5.00 certification fee.

 

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