Divorce records

Prior to the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, divorces could only be obtained by the very rich through a private Act of Parliament. We hold an incomplete series of private Acts from 1818 to 1886. Alternatively, couples could apply for a legal separation which may be noted in church court records, Quarter Sessions or local newspapers.

We do not hold any post-1858 divorce records. There is a Central Index of Decrees Absolute for divorces from 1857 to the present day - request a search.

If a divorce took place between 1857 and 1937, you can search online to see if a divorce case file survives at The National Archives.