How to Find a Divorce Record in Texas
In Texas, there are many ways to find out about a person’s marital history. Some of the most common ways include:
- Obtaining a copy of a birth certificate;
- Searching online databases like Ancestry.com;
- Checking local county clerk offices;
- Looking up information on social media sites like Facebook;
- Using the phone book.
However, finding a divorce record can prove tricky because it involves a lot of searching and digging. If you want to know what happened during your parents’ divorce, you might need to start looking at the places where they lived. For example, you could try contacting the city hall office or the courthouse. You could even ask friends and relatives for help.
If you don’t have much luck locating your parents’ divorce records, you can check out the state archives. They hold copies of every divorce petition filed in the state since 1846.Is Texas Divorce Records Public Records?
Divorce is considered a matter of family law in the state of Texas. A person seeking a divorce needs to file paperwork in the district court where the couple lives. In most counties, the clerk of the court keeps records of divorces filed there.
To obtain a divorce record or marriage record in Texas, one must request it from the county clerk’s office. This is because the county clerk holds copies of all legal papers related to the case.
The DHHS offers a listing of county clerks, registrar of vital statistics, and local record issuers online. County clerks keep divorce records, while the local record issuer maintains marriage records.
Online, divorce records can be accessed through the Texas Vital Statistics Verification Website or through the Report of Division or Annulment Index at the TDHHS site.Find Public Divorce Records Online
Obtaining public Texas divorce records is relatively easy. To do so, interested parties must visit the TDHHS Vital Records Application Page. There, they can request copies of court documents from a specific date range. The fee to obtain a set of divorce records is $20 per record. Payment can only be made via credit card or debit card, and orders usually take about 20 to 25 business days to process.How to Find Texas Divorce Records In-Person
In Texas, there are several different ways to find divorce records. Individuals can go to the county courthouse in the county where the divorce occurred and ask about obtaining records. They can also request information online, though it requires filling out an application form. Another option is to contact the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (TDHHS). There are three different locations where one can obtain Texas divorce records.
The TDHHS charges $10 for each copy of a divorce record. A person can pay for the copies either in cash, credit or Debit cards, check, or money orders. If someone wants to see the original documents, he or she needs to make an appointment.How to Find Texas Divorce Records by Mail
In order to obtain divorce records by mail, print and fully fill out the application form. Along with the application form, the applicant must include a photocopy of their valid photo ID issued by a government body. This can include a state I.D., driver's license, or passport. The applicant must also include a $20 verification fee, a $5 processing fee, an $8 return delivery fee, or $22.95 for delivery from P.O. Box or for express mail. Fees are payable by money order or by check. They should be payable to “DSHS Vital Statistics”.How to Find Texas Divorce Records Online
Obtaining Texas divorce records online isn't difficult. Start by heading over to the Texas.gov Vital Record Application site. You'll find instructions there. Once you've filled out the form, you'll receive a confirmation email. In some cases, you might have to pay $5 to cover shipping costs.
The process takes about 10 minutes; however, it does require patience. You'll want to make sure you're ready to wait up to 30 days before receiving your copy of the file. If you'd like to expedite the process, you can mail in your request.Divorce Rate in Texas
The rate of divorce in Texas declined during the 2000s and 2010s, reaching a low of 4.8 per 1 000 total population in 2016, according to data compiled by the Texas Department of State Health Service’s Vital Statistics Unit. In 1996, the divorce rate stood at 7.1 per 1,000 total populations
As of 2020, there were approximately 1.5 divorces recorded per 1,000 total inhabitants. This figure represents a decrease from 2.7 divorces per 1,00 total populations recorded in 2012.
There are several sources of divorce data in Texas. These include:
- The Texas Department Of State Health Services (DSHSS) Vital Statistics Unit maintains a record of all marriages and divorces in the state.
- The National Center For Health Statistics publishes a report called "Health Care Financing Administration, Divorce Rates Among Adults Aged 15–44 Years — United States, 1999–2004."
Anyone who wants to file for a divorce in Texas must start by filing an original petition with a Texas family court judge. This process begins when one person files paperwork with the court. This person is called the "petitioner," and he or she can obtain divorce forms on the state's law library website.
The petitioner fills out the form, signs it, and sends it to the court. The court clerk reviews the document and decides whether to accept it. If the court accepts the petition, it issues a summons to the respondent (the other party), asking him or her to attend a hearing. At the hearing, the parties present evidence about their marital status and finances. Afterward, the judge determines whether the couple should remain married, dissolve the union, or grant some other type of divorce.
If you want to file for a divorce without minor children, you can do so online. You'll need to complete a short questionnaire. Once you've filled it out, you'll receive a link to print the forms.
You can also go to the courthouse and ask for help filling out the forms there. In most counties, the clerks are able to assist people who don't know how to fill out the forms.
An experienced divorce attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.