How Can I Find Out Whether My Partner Has Been Married Before?

May 24, 2021

Many people find background check services helpful in accessing marriage and divorce records. These services search state, county, and sometimes, even national databases. Running this type of background check will typically cost you more than doing a manual search. However, such services are highly effective in helping to find marriage records online if you suspect your partner hasn’t been entirely truthful about their past. 

Court Records

You can also try the local courthouse’s site to search for a marriage and/or divorce record. You will need to search on the site of the court with jurisdiction in your area or in the area where your partner lives (if different). Since marriage and divorce records are generally public, they will be freely available online. To search public records, you must use your partner’s full name and city or state where they may have gotten married.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. Some states have rules to protect personal information included in marriage licenses and certificates. There are rules governing access to divorce records, too.

This site lists marriage records by state. If you don’t know what state they may have been married in, you can try to estimate their marriage date and place. You can also look for the county and the state where the bride and her family lived according to the census closest to the date of marriage if you have this information. In addition, you should also check the groom’s county and state. Records may show a county and state where either spouse lived about the time they got married. If you already know the state, it will be easier to find the relevant information.

Search Tips

County officials record the majority of marriages, so you can confine your search to the county level. Most counties are required to send state agencies records of marriage. Sometimes, church records are the only source of information about marriages. It is important to note that state-level searches are the least reliable because of the great variation in terms of data and availability.

You can also check digital images and online indexes and request a certificate of divorce from the state agency for a fee. In addition, you can check libraries, archives, and other repositories.

Other Reasons to Search for a Marriage Record

Sheer curiosity is not the only reason to do such a search. Marriage and divorce records can indicate the place and/or date of birth of the spouses and list the exact place and date of the wedding ceremony. The document you find might also list the names and birthplaces of the spouses’ parents.

County and state officials are required to abide by certain laws when collecting information. Typically, this included the names of the spouses, the place where they were married, and their residence. Furthermore, it might include their ages at the time of marriage, their places and dates of birth, the names of their parents, their jobs, and where their parents were born. Finally, it may even include their marital status before marriage – and you could find out whether they were single, divorced, or widowed. However, the odds of finding out your partner was married twice before are small.

When searching for a record of marriage and divorce, you should also determine whether the database covers all counties in a given state. Some databases only contain an index. As such, you might have to order a film to see any original records.

Dating Someone Who’s Been Married Before

If you find out your significant other has kept a previous marriage from you, your fears of them being dishonest with you may be confirmed. In this case, you may wonder why they would hide this information. Perhaps they went through a nasty divorce they don’t care to remember. You might also struggle with the fact that they have already taken steps in their previous relationship that are new and fresh to you. In addition, you may also worry that they will be disinclined to remarry or that your progression toward holy matrimony will not be as meaningful and exciting for them as it would be for you. 

Healthy relationships come down to communication and trust. If you trust your partner and want to spend your lives together, it should not matter that they’ve been married before. However, if they have been dishonest and purposefully concealed important information from you, perhaps it is time to rethink whether they are the right person for you. 

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