Q&A: Finding divorce papers

Dear Liz: My ex passed three years ago. I have done everything to try to get a copy of our divorce papers. I’ve lost out on three years of divorced survivor benefits. Social Security said I must have a copy of the papers before I apply. I have contacted the last places where he lived and sent money orders to the capital cities of those states to no avail. I’m at a loss.

Answer: You need to contact the court clerk in the county where your divorce was finalized and ask for instructions on getting a copy of the documents. Sending out money orders at random won’t do anything but waste your cash. (You may be able to get some money back if the money orders haven’t been cashed, however. You’ll need to contact the issuer, provide a receipt and pay a cancellation fee.)