You’ve just made it through your
family law case and are not trying to figure out what you need to do next. Whether it was a
modification case you are surely happy that the case is done and over with. Whether
the result was one you are happy with is a different subject altogether-
but at this point you have taken the case as far as you can take it.
One of the most important, and perhaps the first, step you should take
at this stage is to order and obtain a copy of your
Final Order. The Final Order is the document that contains the “marching orders”
for you and the opposing party in your case. It likely contains your signature,
the other party’s signature, both attorneys’ signatures and
most importantly the judge’s signature. What the document states
you are bound to live by until further order of the Court.
Seeing as how this document is extremely important to living a successful
and litigation-free existence after your case is complete, you will want
to purchase a copy of the Order. That way you will have no questions about
what the Order states in regard to a certain subject. Rather than relying
on memory as to what the Order says about one subject or another, having
a copy to stick in your desk drawer or file cabinet at home makes a great
deal of sense.
The majority of clients that the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan represents are located in County. We have clients elsewhere, but for the
most part our clients are located here in Harris County- either within
the city limits of Houston or in an outlying city or town. With this in
mind, I would like to walk you through how to order a copy of the final
orders in your case in each of these three counties.
Ordering a final order in Harris County
If you are a person whose family law case was heard in Harris County then
you should know that copies of your final order can be purchased from
the Harris County District Clerk’s office via the internet or mail.
The district clerk’s website can be found at
www.hcdisrictclerk.com. On the top of the page directly below District Clerk Chris Daniel’s
name, you will find a tab that reads “Copies”. Click on this
tab and follow the instructions. Purchasing a copy means paying $1.00
per page if you would like those copies to be certified. If your Final
Decree of Divorce Is 43 pages long be prepared to pay $43.00 and some
change for that order. However, if you are fine with uncertified copies
then a copy of the document is available for $.15 per page
You can access your case online utilizing your name or your Cause Number.
Once your case is located you can search the documents for your Final
Order. Add the document to your shopping cart and pay for the copies online
with your credit or debit card.
Finally, if you are more comfortable requesting copies of your final order
via mail that is an option as well. To obtain certified or non certified
copies of your final order by mail there is a form that you will be asked
to complete. It can be found at the district clerk’s website under
the “Copies” tab- the same place you would go to order your
copies online. Once you have completed the form you should mail the form
and a self addressed stamped envelope with postage included to the following address:
Harris County District Clerk
P.O. Box 4651
Houston, TX 77210-4651
Once the district clerk employee’s receive your request a certified
or non-certified copy will be mailed back to you in the self addressed
stamped envelope that you included with your request for the copies.
When is a certified copy of your final order needed?
A certified copy is ideally what you will want to request and obtain because
it carries with it the assurance that what you hold is an actual and complete
copy of the final order signed by the judge. It carries with it a raised
seal from the Harris County District Clerk on each page. Basically each
and every page is legally certified by the District Clerk of Harris County.
There are a handful of applications in which you will need a certified
rather than a noncertified copy of your divorce decree. For instance,
if you intend to legally change your name after the divorce then you will
need a certified copy of the divorce decree wherein the judge grants your
request to do so.
Likewise, if you hold a
life insurance policy and intend to change the
beneficiary then you will need to provide a certified copy to the life insurance company
along with your requested changes. The same goes for your child’s
school or even your bank. Removing a spouse from an account, or telling
your child’s school about the actual possession schedule that you
and your ex-spouse will be abiding by can help to squash potential problems
before they arise. Without a certified copy, school administrators, bank
employees and even law enforcement officers may not be able to assist
you in the event that there is a problem.
My advice would be to spend the money (if possible) and order multiple
certified copy, always making sure you have one at home for your records.
Questions about ordering a copy of your final order or other steps to take
post-divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Once your divorce or child custody case concludes the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan will help you to plan for and execute a post-case plan for living successfully.
Any questions you may have about this subject can be directed to one of
family law attorneys. To learn more about this subject or any other in family law
please do not hesitate to
contact our office today. A free of charge consultation is available to you six
days a week.