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How to Find Out if Your Online Date is Married or Divorced?

Michelle Wilson - November 17, 2021

how to find out if your online date is married or divorced

When it comes to love, our heart tends to lead the way. Thankfully, most intelligent people know when to let their hearts take the back burner and bring critical thinking out when a relationship starts getting serious. For some people, uncovering the truth about an individual’s past can prevent serious heartbreak later in the relationship. Unfortunately, many people would rather hide the reality of their marital status—often at the expense of their newest partner.

With the increased availability of online records, many people turn to background checks on their potential partners to confirm crucial details about their partner, from employment to previous marriage licenses. For others, using background checks when drafting premarital nuptial agreements can bring transparency to the relationship. This disclosure includes assets and debts accumulated before the relationship. While this might seem intrusive, it can protect and safeguard your heart and bank account in the long term.

Finding Marriage Records

While it’s true that marriage records are public information, getting your hands on them isn’t always the easiest. Marriage documents are stored at town, city, or county levels. To access these records, you can visit the record through the CDC. Accessing these records depends on the state, with certain restrictions in place. For example, Virginia requires one of the parties to access the records unless the marriage took place over 25 years ago. Certain circumstances allow for record access, including suspected prior marriage, records to execute a will or custody-related matters.

Some states allow access to marriage certificates online, but the search isn’t easy to perform unless you have all the information. Critical details include:

  • The full pre-marriage name.
  • The time frame of marriage.
  • The city or county of the wedding.

How to Find the Marriage Certificate Online

With the necessary information, individuals can search by visiting the National Association of Counties website. This domain provides access to local county records, requiring users to enter the relevant information. To get started, select the state and county from the search bar. Enter in the information for the person of interest. Any listings will have a copy of the marriage license. This information includes the name of the bride and groom, along with the date of marriage.

Likewise, divorce records are available to the public too. Individuals can search for these records online or visit the local clerk of the county to explore in person.

It’s important to remember that this method is solely dependant on the exact location of the marriage. There’s a possibility that the marriage may have taken place somewhere else and won’t show in the results.

Harness the Power of Social Media

While accessing a marriage record can be time-consuming and complicated, finding everything you need to know might start with social media. Studies have shown that nearly half of the global population will access social media regularly. According to Backlinko, the average user will engage with approximately 6.6 social media platforms. As such, checking through popular platforms is a potential gold mine of information. 

Search for the person of interest online, particularly the popular networks. Most married individuals will have some record on social media, whether it’s a profile indication, photograph, or memory online. As our reliance on social accounts grows, so do the connections with documented events. If you’re connected with your partner online, search through their history, photos, and previous statuses online for evidence of past relationships or marriages. Close contacts may have shared pictures of the event as well, so be sure to check any tagged photos of their account.

Secret Profiles

Despite social media accounts being full of information, there’s always a chance your partner has secret social media profiles to hide their past. These details might include previous marriage, divorce, children, or relationships. To try and find other profiles, search for the user’s name (whether it’s the first and last name or a common nickname) or perform a reverse image search through Google Images or TinEye. Reverse image search will show any location an image appears on the internet, including social media accounts.

Look Up Wedding Gift Registries

Most engaged couples register for gifts or honeymoon aid to celebrate the occasion. These might include online registries or similar websites. To search through registries, you’ll have to visit individual domains and enter in the first and last name. Start by visiting the most popular domains and branch out to include more specific and custom websites. While most websites will keep user registries for multiple years, you’ll have better luck finding the results within the last ten years.

Find Answers in the Local Newspaper

One of the most time-consuming options, looking through newspaper announcements, is a possible way to find proof of previous weddings. Search through databases with pre-wedding information, keeping the search as specific and narrowed as possible. Always look through local newspapers first before branching out to more significant publications. Knowing the first and last names of the bride or groom can narrow down the search, having an approximate date of publication. For example, looking through decades of newspaper announcements is time-consuming and unlikely to pull results. Consider narrowing down the year of suspected marriage before starting.

Perform a Background Check

If you’re looking to understand the person you’re dating thoroughly, a background check might be the easiest option to uncover the truth. All background checks will compile information from public records found online, giving you a comprehensive profile of the individual. This information includes first and last names (including maiden names or pre-marriage names), previous addresses, contact information, and social media accounts.

Running a Background Check

You’ll need your partner’s first and last name to get started. While most checks can get started with only a name, having additional information can expedite the process and confirm the records found in the search. Details like birthdate, city of residence, or other relevant information can connect the profiles and streamline your results for accuracy.

Understanding Your Results

A background check will compile all public records found online into a PDF report. This information will include personal files like marriage records or divorce decrees. If any files are found for those details provided, background checks will disclose them in the file. It’s important to remember that there are very few cases of mistaken files (for example, should someone have the same first and last name as your partner). In this situation, compare the birthdates on the file with the known birthday of your partner.


find out if your online date is married or divorced

Although we’d like to believe that individuals are honest and forthcoming, hiding a marriage can be a dealbreaker for many people. Trust your gut instinct and investigate things thoroughly if you have suspicions. New relationships are fun and exciting, distracting us from the warning signs or red flags.

While our heart may lead us into beautiful relationships, it needs to be confirmed with critical thinking and logic. Always investigate someone’s past before jumping in with both feet. Someone willing to hide a previous marriage or divorce is likely to obscure other details in the relationship. Investigating is the only way to calm your nerves when you have suspicions of previous marriages. Uncovering the truth may hurt initially, but it ultimately saves your heart in the long term.

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