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JAS08on's avatar

Trying to get a copy of a Divorce Decree?

Asked by JAS08on (16 points ) April 29th, 2014

Hello, I’m Jason, and I have a question concerning a Divorce Decree. I have a niece that is trying to get a copy of her mother’s Divorce Decree, because she needs it to prove to Medicaid that her father on her Birth Certificate, is not her real father. My niece is 18 years old, and she is trying to get Medicaid to cover her medical expenses. And the only way Medicaid will approve her is that she gets that Divorce Decree. Her mom never raised her though, and she is having a very hard time getting it from her mom. Her mom had some prison time before, and is giving her daughter a hard time. So what should my 18 year old niece do to get her mom’s Divorce Decree without her? My niece is a very good girl, she is even going to college to be a nurse. My nieces mom got a Divorce in the state of Illinois, or Virginia, it is one of those states.

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10 Answers

jca's avatar

Marriage and certificates you get in the town in which the event occurred, I believe. Not sure about divorces.

She should ask someone high up at Social Services (like a manager or supervisor) what she should do, since she has a special circumstance.

janbb's avatar

Mine was issued in the County Court House where I live. She will probably have to find out where the divorce took place and contact the Hall of Records there.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I believe you need to go through the circuit court that the divorce took place in or at least the county to research it.

FlyingWolf's avatar

To get a copy of my divorce decree I went to the courthouse in the county where I filed for divorce. If I remember correctly it cost around $10 to get a certified copy with the county seal.

jca's avatar

I’m saying since she might not be able to find out the location of the divorce, she should inquire with someone high up at DSS to find out what might be an alternative.

hearkat's avatar

I was informed that years after the fact, the decree is held in the State Hall of Records in NJ. That sounds like such a hassle that I haven’t bothered to get it yet (I really should, though). It may vary by state.

If the mother didn’t raise her, doesn’t that mean that someone else had guardianship? I’m just not understanding why she needs the divorce decree in that case, especially since she’s now an adult. Your niece may need to try to get a social worker or someone that can help her through this bureaucratic mess.

jca's avatar

As far as Social Services goes, the parent is responsible to 21, not 18. I know it sounds crazy but I dealt with it as a worker.

hearkat's avatar

@jca – It would be nice if there were a clear-cut line. The ages between 18–21 are blurry regarding legal “adulthood” and “independence”—are there variations in such laws from state-to-state? If the parent/guardian is responsible until 21, shouldn’t the niece in question still be under their health care plan? Also, under the Affordable Care Act, a child can stay on the plan of their legal guardian or parent until 26. This seems like a very complicated case.

@JAS08on – In which state does your niece currently live? Has she checked with the college to see if there’s a health services plan that she can enroll in there? Could you please explain the guardianship situation with your niece, as well?

Seaofclouds's avatar

She will need to get in touch with the Vital Records of the state the divorce ocuured in. I’m not sure how the divorce decree is going to disporove paternity from her birth certificate though. It sounds like there is more to the situation than just this.

jca's avatar

@hearkat: Yes, I am in NY so that is for NY. Not sure what other states laws are. I know it’s confusing and hard to understand why you can vote at 18, you can’t drink till 21, parents are responsible to 21 yet everyone seems to think they can do what they want once they turn 18. Most people, it seems, think it’s 18. I had teens on my caseload who were totally messing up at home, not obeying the rules of the household, getting kicked out and legally, the parents were obligated to provide for them where ever they moved to. I thought it was crazy.

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