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Can I get divorce papers for my late husband's first marriage?

Chicago, IL |

My husband recently died. I am a lost. I find myself having to arrange several things.

One of my major problem is that in order to claim his pension, or to even settle my citizenship I need to get hold of his divorce papers from his first wife, which was filed in New Jersey.

As his widow, I have letters of administration. How can I get these papers. It seems that everyone needs to confirm that he was divorced before he married me. I have seen it hanging around. Since his death 4 months ago, I have search high and low - not to be found. Please help?

Attorney Answers 2


I am sorry for your loss.

Hopefully, you know where your hsband's furst divorce took place in New Jersey. Contact the clerk of the circuit court in thart county and make arrangements to secure a copy of his divorce decree. You might also be able to do some of the preliminary work online if the clerk has a website that contains the information you need.

Good luck!

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For New Jersey, go to and find the location of the trial court. In New Jersey, the trial courts are called "Superior Court" and there are 21, one for each county. Once you find the appropriate Superior Court, call the clerk and tell them you want to obtain a copy of your husband's divorce decree, giving them the names of the parties and the approximate date. There will be a nominal charge for copying, which if you ask they may even waive. Some clerks want a written request with a stamped self-addressed envelope to make it easier for them.

You get a copy of the Order appointing you as administrator (it's not "letters", it is called an "Order") from the clerk of the probate court that appointed you administrator. Same deal, call the clerk and give her the name of the decedent, your name and the approximate date. If you know the case number of the probate case give them that. Again, there may be a nominal copying charge

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick


Here, this list of addresses and phone numbers should help you:

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