Obtaining a copy of your Final Order

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 divorce, child custody, enforcement or 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

Attention: Correspondence.

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 our licensed 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.

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