For a wide variety of legitimate reasons and perfectly logical motivations, lots of people desperately seek official Tennessee divorce records. Such seekers wind up with nothing to show for utmost diligence but tons of wasted time and frustration. A most probable primary cause is that all Tennessee divorces once required prior approval by the State General Assembly. Besides that, case-specific disputes were sole determent of which local county court had proper legal jurisdiction. Divorces that involved disputed property division were heard by Chancery Courts, while divorce cases that didn’t involve property disputes were heard by Circuit Courts. Fortunately, there’s now an easy solution that’s readily at hand for those willing souls who aren’t afraid to exploit today’s ever advancing electronics high technologies. Below is a skeletal roadmap designed to provide courageous e-pioneers in their quests for the best possible sources of Tennessee divorce records.
Best place to begin a thorough but efficient search that’s bound to prove fruitful
Tennessee’s Dept. of Health Vital Records Office maintains a centralized database that contains a statewide registry of divorce records dating back to January 1, 1949. Moreover, the Vital Records Office can verify the date and local county where a given marital dissolution or annulment was granted during that same timeframe.
To request a Tennessee divorce record dated on or after January 1, 1949, you must write or visit the Nashville Vital Records Office at the following physical address:
Tennessee Vital Records
Department of Health
1st Floor, Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37243
You may obtain an official request form by visiting or writing local Vital Records Offices or downloading a free .pdf version at the official Tennessee government website. To learn more details like current processing fees, supporting documentation and Vital Records Office business hours, visit its official website.
What to do if you want a divorce record dating back way before New Years’ Day 1949
While the State Vital Records Office keeps very good track of Tennessee divorces recorded during the last half-century or so, many folks have a burning desire to acquire more antiquated marital dissolution documents. If you’re among that growing number of DIY genealogical and historical investigators, relax, take heart and sit back. You’ve finally arrived in the right place. Most divorce records over 50 years old have been long retired from local county courthouse files and now reside deep within vast Nashville vaults of the Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division (TSLA).
- Try TSLA first
First established in 1854, the TSLA now operates as a Tennessee Dept. of State subdivision. For a small fee, TSLA’s research librarians will perform a full search of its massive databases for divorce records dating back as far as 1796. You may visit TSLA’s official website to view a vast treasure trove of high-value historical and genealogical data. This site also features full instructions for submitting a request for divorce record search to TSLA.
- FHL is a fine source
Since all original divorce records were once kept by the local county where marital dissolution court proceedings transpired, that’s where to find those same legal documents today. Some Tennessee county divorce records are maintained by the Family History Library (FHL). You may run a search for copies of Tennessee county divorce records via FHL’s Family Search Catalog.
- Yet a third viable option
In the very unlikely event that all aforementioned suggestions fail to bear fruit, County Registry Online (CRO) is a realistic final or even first resort. CRO’s main claim to fame is an “instant nationwide search system” that auto-checks several thousand proprietary and public databases, then lets users view and download full record report details within minutes. This on-site tool purportedly offers users the primary advantage of ability to locate county documents based on minimal search subject data. Applicable usage fees vary widely and records sources frequently update.