I receive queries like yours about once a week, and there is no easy
answer. Each state, and sometimes counties within each state, keep
their local records. There is no national database. Any service that
offers a nationwide search must go to each state individually, and
such a service will charge quite a lot for their time.
"Undercover spy" services tend to me nothing more than link
compilations, often out-dated. I know - I have used them all. The best
is Net Detective, but they merely give you addresses you can write to,
whereas my list below has the website links as well...
Your best bet is to start with the most likely states (i.e. where he
and she had lived), and try their official vital records services, one
by one. Some states will search a decade or two for you, others say
that they need to know the particular year (I like to think that if
you are polite they can help more than their websites say).
A list of all the official divorce records resources I have found is here:
Similar information can be found at VitalRec.com:
SearchSystems have links to divorce records - drill down by state (and
county if necessary). Or search their site for "divorce". Also try any
links they have to court records, these sometimes include family
courts. This is the best catalog of public records available online.
At RootsWeb you can search FL divorce records by county, plus Greene co. MO
This site might be worth a look if you are in a hurry, but will cost
you more than doing it yourself:
An alternative that I usually keep to myself is KnowX:
This is a free search of Florida, Nevada, and Texas divorce records.
Enter his surname and her first name, and search once for each state.
If you use this form too much, they require you to register (it's
free, but you need to give them your credit card details). To see the
full records there is a $7.95 fee for all the records found, per
The Florida file contains records that date back to 1970. The Nevada
records go back to June 1968, and Texas to 1966.
It is quite ridiculous that one must go to such lengths to find
divorce details, but if it is any comfort, in the UK they keep the
records sealed for 100 years. I'd love to know if I am divorced in the
UK, and there appears to be no way to find out!