You may be cleaning out a drawer filled with papers, come across your divorce certificate, and wonder whether you still need to keep it. After all, your divorce has been finalized, why keep some paperwork? While it is understandable to want to recycle seemingly unnecessary documents and rid yourself of items regarding your previous marriage, it is important to keep your divorce certificate. Read on to learn more.

When will my divorce certificate come in handy?

The truth is that your divorce certificate may come in handy more than you realize. Some of the most common situations that would require your divorce certificate include:

Changing your last name

Did you take your partner’s last name when you got married? If so, you may wish to change your last name back to your maiden name. In order to do this, you will need your divorce certificate. You can show your divorce certificate to a New York judge as evidence of why you want to change your name. This is important because some individuals attempt to change their name for criminal purposes, such as committing identity theft or running from legal trouble.

Refinancing your home

If you were able to keep your marital home after your divorce, you will likely want to remove your ex’s name from the mortgage. In order to do this, you will have to show the mortgage lender your divorce certificate.


One of the most important reasons to keep a copy of your divorce certificate is for remarriage. This is because, in New York, it is illegal to be married to more than one person at a time. In order to apply for your marriage certificate, you will need your divorce certificate as proof that your previous marriage has been terminated.

How can I obtain a copy of my divorce certificate?

If you have lost your divorce certificate, there is no need to panic. You can obtain a copy of the certificate fairly easily.  To do so, you will have to submit an application including your ID and/or proof of address. This will have to be submitted to the New York State Department of Health and the process may carry a fee of $30-$45.

If you have any questions or concerns about your divorce certificate, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.

Contact Our Rockland County Firm

If you are faced with a family law matter in Rockland County, contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.