Divorce in Texas is a legal means to terminate a marriage recognized under state family law. To do this, the intending divorcee must fill official forms and submit the required documents. Generally, after filing for divorce, the case proceeds with serving papers and the exchange of documents. Then, the court holds a hearing – if necessary, and the judge issues a decree of divorce from board and bed.
These documents created or submitted throughout the divorce case are known as divorce records. Court officials keep copies of these documents, which are available to anyone who requests them under the Texas Public Information Act.
As a person looking to find divorce records, you have several options depending on which is most convenient. First, you may visit the district court in the county where the divorce happened. There, inquire of the office of the clerk and submit a formal request for the divorce documents. The administrative staff will need some details from you to retrieve the divorce record from the archives.
These typically include the name of the divorcees and the date of the final decree. You may also provide the case number or judge’s name – if known, to speed up the retrieval. However, the court charges a search fee, and you will also need to bear the costs of copying or certifying the record of interest.
If visiting the courthouse in person is inconvenient, consider using online alternatives to get divorce records. The Texas judiciary does not have an official central repository for court records in the state. Most district courts accept and process public requests for court records via email. However, due to the backlog of requests, it may take several business days or weeks to get a response. This lag in the system makes online search your fastest and most accessible option to get divorce records in Texas.
Generally, you may use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to access statewide divorce records. However, the availability of the documents you seek depends on the vertical integration of the district court with the federal system.
Say you are looking for a divorce record in a small town like Collinsville, you should first use the public case portal that the Grayson County District Court maintains. To use the search portal, you may enter the case number, name of the parties, or the filing date.
Alternatively, you may use third-party databases that collect bulk records from courts and make them accessible to the public. This option is especially useful when searching for public records in a municipality apart from divorce records.