Frequently Asked Questions: Divorce Decrees in Texas and Other Public Documents

Official dissolution documentation that includes divorce decrees in Texas, certificates, and a comprehensive record is created every time a marriage ends. These statistics and pieces of information are considered vital. Verification letters can verify if a marriage or a dissolution was recorded with the state, and it may be accepted by some foreign countries as proof of the single status. However, they are not considered legal substitutes for dissolution decrees.

Woman looking at folders.
It’s important to know where to obtain the certified copies.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote - “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” But that doesn’t mean you should stop and not look for happiness elsewhere. Moving on may mean that you will change your name, or be remarried, and for that purpose, you will need a dissolution decree.

Are Texas Divorce Records Public?

Dissolution records are considered public documents because they were created by government bodies and are therefore open to the general population. Nonetheless, they can be really difficult to locate and obtain. So the answer to the question “Are divorce decrees public?”, is that Texas divorce laws make this documentation accessible only to people and legal entities involved in the process.

A man looking at papers.
This documentation is not accessible to everyone.

What Information is Needed to Search for Divorce Decrees in Texas Online?

If you’re wondering how do I find divorce records in Texas, you can find them online. To search for this documentation online, the requesting party will need to provide certain information:

  • The full name of the person you are looking for, including their maiden name, if applicable,
  • The place where the divorce in Texas decree was issued,
  • The date of the final decree of divorce Texas,
  • The case file number,
  • The name of the person’s (registrant’s) parents or legal guardians.

This documentation can also be obtained by contact with third-party sites, which is the answer to the question “How can you look up if someone is divorced?” However, as these are not government-backed websites, the availability may be limited. For search through these sites, you will need to provide the location of the record in question including the city, county, or state, and also the name of someone involved in the divorce process in case they’re not a minor.

Can I Obtain a Texas Divorce Records Certified Copy Through the County or District Clerk’s Office?

Since divorce decrees in Texas are considered a matter of the family court, they are held in the county clerk’s office. They can contain personal information on minors, as well as finances, property, and documentation of abuse, and thus must be obtained through the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (TDHHS). Certified copies are only available in the county or district where the divorce forms were initially filed. If you’re wondering how to get a divorce decree in Texas, they have to be obtained in person, after you contact the clerk’s office.

Laptop and papers on a desk.
Some necessary documentation may be obtained online.

Which Documents Can Be Obtained Through the County Clerk’s Office?

After the petition for divorce and the finalizing of the process, the record consists of documentation such as certificates, decrees, and a comprehensive record of contested divorces, as well as a (usually shorter) file on uncontested divorces. When a couple ends the legal tenets that surround their marriage, whether by filing for divorce online or in any other way, these documents are created, and they include reversal, annulment, and marriage dissolution.

What is the Certificate of Divorces?

This is the most frequently requested document that offers the least information. It includes a statement that two people have gotten (for example) an online divorce in Texas, as well as the location and the date and time that it was finalized. It is usually requested when one of the divorced parties wants to change their name or get remarried.

What is a Standard Divorce Decree in Texas?

Texas divorce decrees include everything that certificates do, but with the addition of the judgment or the findings of the case. This includes child custody and child support documentation, property division, and a record of spousal support. It includes a case number and the judge’s signature.

What Exactly is the Dissolution of Marriage Record?

This document has the same information as the certificate and the decree but contains all the files and documentation from the court proceedings. It is technically the case file for the whole case. With valid identification and info provided, they can be obtained the same way as other court and criminal documentation.

Dissolution papers and a pen.
You can obtain different dissolution documentation.

Summary on the Dissolution Records and Other Documentation

The State makes it easy to locate all the needed documentation but makes it very clear which documentation is available to the general population, and which can not be accessed by just anyone. However, there are certain fees associated with obtaining this documentation. They vary depending on the type of record required. If you happen to need any extras like rush service or priority queue jump, your request will probably be subject to additional charges.