In New Jersey, divorce cases (termed “dissolution cases” by the courts) are filed and heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court at the county court level. After a case is completed and a judgment of divorce is issued, the case is closed. Records for closed divorce cases are stored and archived by the Superior Court Clerk’s Office at our warehouse in Trenton. The number of years between the time a case is closed and the time the case records are transferred to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office for archiving varies from county to county.
In many circumstances, it may not be necessary to obtain a copy of the actual Judgment of Divorce. The Superior Court Clerk’s Office can prepare a Certificate of Divorce for a nominal fee. The certificate contains the county of venue, docket number, names of the parties, and date of the Final Judgment of Divorce, and is stamped with the Seal of the Superior Court.
The Dissolution Files Inventory chart below shows the inventory of divorce case files currently stored at the RIC. The “Case Year” refers to the most recent docket year sent for storage at the RIC. This means that all divorce records up to and including the year listed under “Case Year” are available at the RIC.
To determine whether your case file is located at the RIC you must know: 1) the county in which the divorce case took place and 2) the year the case was filed. This information can be determined from the docket number assigned to the case. The docket number will have either an “FM” or “M” prefix followed by a 7- or 9-digit number. The last two digits of the docket number indicate the case year. See the following for examples of docket numbers:
- Example 1: “FM-01-07500-00” would mean that the divorce case was filed in Atlantic County (“01”) in the year 2000 (“00”). (Please note, when the docket number contains 9 digits, the first two digits may represent the county code. The two-digit county codes are listed on the chart below after the name of each county.)
- Example 2: “Atlantic County, M-07500-85” would mean that the divorce case was filed in Atlantic County in 1985 (“85”).
NOTE: If you do not know your docket number, please contact the Superior Court Clerk’s Office Customer Service Unit at 609-421-6100. A search can be conducted for your docket number if you provide the following information: the county where the divorce occurred, the approximate year the divorce occurred, and the names of the parties involved.
Using the case docket number, find the county where the divorce case took place and the corresponding case year in the chart below. If your divorce case falls within the records listed in the chart, contact Customer Service about viewing your case or to obtain copies of case documents.
If your divorce case file is not at the RIC in Trenton, contact the Family Division of the county court in which the divorce took place for information on how to obtain a copy.
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