How to Obtain a Divorce Certificate in Harris County?

The divorce is officially finalized in Harris County when the divorce decree signed by the judge is filed with the clerk’s office. This document confirms that the marriage is legally ended and includes all information regarding the divorce case. If necessary, former spouses may obtain a Harris County divorce decree copy by making the request to the county clerk’s office.

The court may excuse spouses from attending the final hearing. It may happen in uncontested cases when all the terms concerning divorce are agreed upon in advance by the couple. In this situation, the court will either inform you where you can receive the document or send it to you via mail. The best option is not to delay obtaining the certified copy of final divorce decree in Texas and request it from the clerk’s office as soon as the marriage is legally dissolved. For example, one may need to resume their maiden name immediately, which is only possible with a copy of the document.


What Information Is Contained in a Divorce Decree

People often confuse a divorce decree with a divorce certificate. The latter sets forth a concise summary of the divorce process as follows:

The final divorce decree includes the above details and information regarding the proceedings. This legal document contains the conclusive decision on the issues that were the subject of the divorce process. The list of these issues may include:

How Does a Divorce Decree Work?

A divorce decree is a document that approves the terms of the marriage termination. After the judge signs it, the document should be filed with the court clerk’s office. From that moment, it becomes a public record.  A divorce decree is enforceable; therefore, the parties must strictly follow its terms. If one of the ex-spouses refuses to comply with the rules of the divorce decree and, for example, violates the established child visitation procedure, the other party may ask the court to enforce the court order. One will need a certified copy of the divorce decree to initiate such a procedure. In most cases, Texas law requires the motion to be filed within two years after the divorce decree was issued. The exception to this rule is if the action specified in the document must occur much later than when this court order was signed. For example, spouses can agree to share the proceeds from the sale of a joint apartment, but the sale itself will only take place once their child reaches majority. The parties also have the right to file a request for document modification. This is allowed when the consequences have changed significantly, preventing the implementation of terms outlined in the decree. For instance, if one of the ex-partners has lost their job and does not have the financial ability to pay the alimony, they may request the court to modify the court order on this issue. It is important to note that the divorce decree must be valid for one year before the former spouses can ask the court to revise it.