Dominican divorces are processed in the following order:
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The court issues the divorce decree.
The decree must be taken to the town hall to be registered.
The divorce is pronounced at the registry office which issues the divorce certificate.
The Santo Domingo divorce courts
Old Dominican divorce records
Searching for old Dominican divorce records is some of the most challenging work we do.
Most of our Dominican divorce enquiries come from non-Dominicans who got divorced in the 1970s and 1980s under the Dominican Republic's quickie divorce laws. Common to many enquiries is the fact that now years later, our customers cannot always remember the specific date of their divorce, nor the name of the town where the divorce was decreed.
We search for your old Dominican divorce records by working backwards:
REGISTRY OFFICE – A Dominican divorce is “pronounced” (= finalised) when the registry office registers the court decree in its ledger, and the registrar has signed the record. Then a divorce certificate can be issued. It is this divorce certificate which confirms that the marriage ended, and that the divorce is irreversible and final. We start our search at the registry office because:
- Registry-office records for the entire Dominican Republic are in one central database known as PARC, court records are not.
- The divorce pronouncement in the registry office usually gives us the date and docket number of the Dominican court decree.
- Unlike courthouses, many registry offices have already had their ledgers scanned and indexed, and are therefore often more easily located.
TOWN HALL – Before a Dominican court divorce decree may be finalised at the registry office, it must first be registered at the town hall. Town halls generally don’t keep copies of the decrees that they register, but they are often able to provide us with invaluable information, such as the docket number and date of the decree, information which is not always available at the registry office.
COURTHOUSE – Old Dominican divorce decrees have usually not been scanned or indexed so are not easily searchable. When we approach the clerk-of-court to search for an old decree, they usually refer to their index of decrees which are kept in old binders, school exercise books or sometimes unorganised loose sheets, with one line for each decree. The actual divorce files are stored in boxes off-site such as in a large storage unit. Dominican divorce files from the courthouse would typically include:
- Your divorce decree, of which we can obtain a certified copy for you.
- Separation agreement that you and your ex-spouse signed, relating to custody of children, payment of alimony, division of property etc
- Copy of the divorce announcement published in the Dominican newspaper.
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