Massachusetts Divorce Records.
Files, Certificates and Agreements.
From 1922 to the Present.


  • How can I locate a divorce record in Massachusetts?

  • Where is it located and how do I obtain a copy? What if it was 30 years ago?

  • You can save time and order a Massachusetts divorce record directly from this website.

  • Expedited service available for most of eastern Massachusetts probate and family courts.

  • Certified, attested, apostilled and or plain digitized (PDF) photocopies available upon request.


In Massachusetts, the majority of divorce records, also referred to as divorce case files and/or decrees, are considered public information. Any financial information contained in the more contemporary records however, is open only to the parties named in the divorce or to a designated legal representative.

A small percentage of divorce records are impounded by the court and only accessible by the parties named on the record or their legal representative.

In addition, more recent divorce records also restrict access to Qualified Domestic Orders (QDRO's) to those parties named.

As with other vital records, changes have occurred over the years as to the current location of divorce file records. Massachusetts divorce records since 1922 are located at the county probate court in which the libellant filed.

With a few exceptions, most county courts have archived divorce files prior to the mid 1980's to off-site storage facilities. These older divorce files must be ordered and returned to the courthouse for processing. Depending on the court, that can take anywhere from overnight to two weeks.

Also, and this is very important, divorce records are generally filed in the county where the couple last lived as a married couple - not necessarily where each one of them lived at the time of the divorce. For example, Party "A" and Party "B" last lived together in Boston, but separated and Party "A" moved to Framingham, than the divorce should have been filed in Boston, which is Suffolk County and not in Framingham or Middlesex County. However, if both parties moved OUT of the county where they last lived as a married couple, than the party filing for divorce in Massachusetts, must file in the county where that party currently lives.

If the county of divorce is not known, there is a statewide index, from 1952 to the present available at the Massachusetts Department of Health's Registry of Vital Records in Boston. However, this statewide index is known to contain errors and omissions. It is only an index that contains names, year, county of divorce and docket number. The actual divorce files are located at the county probate court, or, in an archive facility offsite from the court. In addition to the statewide index at the Department of Health, each probate county court maintains a county wide index to divorce records since 1922.

Before 1922 and as far back as 1887, divorce cases were heard in the various county Superior Courts, such as Suffolk County Superior Court.

The Massachusetts Court and Judicial Archives, located in the same building as the Massachusetts Archives in Boston, has some docket books which index divorces for Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Worcester counties. However, most of the divorce files themselves are either still located at the county Superior Court in which they were filed or the records are held in off-site storage facilities. It can take weeks to get some of these files.

Again, the state archives has only the index
, not the actual files.

Before 1887 and as far back as 1786, divorce cases were handled by the Supreme Judicial Court. These records are indexed in Law dockets. Both the indexes and the files are held by the Judicial Archives at the Massachusetts Archives.

Records prior to 1786 and as early as 1639, were heard by a variety of courts within the state and in most cases, the originals are held by the Massachusetts Archives.

We provide divorce file retrieval from 1922 and up to the present for Bristol, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties.

If you would like Massachusetts Document Retrieval to process a divorce file request, please go to our divorce file request form.

We generally mail divorce records within 10 - 14 business days, or less. Scanned and digitized copies can also be processed. 

  • Additional Massachusetts Divorce Information

  • General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 208: Divorce. Causes for Divorce

  • General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 210: Adoption of Children and Change of Name.

  • Massachusetts Bar Association - Law Help

  • Birth, marriage. divorce and death record information for all other states.

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