How to Find Divorce Records in Texas

Texas Divorce Records

Anyone is allowed to access Texas divorce records because divorce records are public in the state of Texas. A person may want to access these records to show them to an employer or a state organization so that that person can use those records as grounds to change their name.

In addition, there are government agencies that may want to see those records first before they offer assistance of some kind. However, there are steps you need to follow in order for you to access these records in person or at home.

Accessing Divorce Records

To access divorce records you will need the following information:

  • The full name of the person you are searching for
  • The date and place of divorce
  • The relationship with the person
  • The type of order
  • The reason for wanting the information

You can always contact the state office if you do not know the county in which the divorce decree was issued.

Certified Copy Of Divorce Decree – District Clerk’s Office

The District Clerk’s Office will issue the parties of the divorce certified copies of divorce decrees.  Copies of these decrees can only be issued to those parties in person. That means that if you are a party to a divorce, you will have to visit the district clerk in the county or district where the divorce was filed.

Divorce Verification Letter

You can obtain a divorce verification letter from the Texas Vital Statistics Unit if you are seeking verification of your divorce but don’t need a certified copy of the final decree.  Individuals may request a divorce verification letter by mail or online from the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. The Texas Vital Statistics Unit provides verification letters but these letters are not a legal substitute for an actual divorce decree.  In fact, letters from this unit are different from certified copies of the final divorce decree.

Generally, only divorces that were filed from 1968 to the present have verification letters for divorce decrees. There are indexes of divorces records sorted by year that you can search through to find the record you want. You can purchase or download for free records from the Texas Divorce Records website.

Exceptions to Open Records Rule

Texas has a strong open records rule regarding court records but there are some exceptions.  In fact, all you need to do in Texas to seal your records is just allege that sealing those records will not adversely affect public safety or health.  You may also be able to seal part of those records if you do not want to seal the whole divorce records. So to keep divorce matters private in Texas you choose the following protections:

  • Hide your identity and other divorce details in the decree
  • Mark documents as containing sensitive data like phone numbers, birth dates and other personal information
  • Just seal everything from public view
  • Seek a protective order from the court on the grounds that there is extremely private information in the documents
  • Include a confidentiality clause in the divorce agreement
  • Use the collaborative law process to finalize your divorce

It is mostly public figures who choose to seal their divorce records for security reasons.

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