Information for Filing a Divorce “Pro Se” provided by the Denton County District Clerk

Updated 8/1/2009 and available as a handout at the Denton County Courthouse

“The District Clerk’s Office Does not Supply forms necessary to file for divorce. We are not attorneys and are legally prohibited from giving any legal advice.

“If you intend to represent yourself “Pro Se” (without the assistance of any attorney) you must have knowledge of the law to prepare and file the necessary pleadings and present your cause to the Court, the same as an attorney is required to do. The Clerk is prohibited from checking your documents to see if they are in compliance.

“The only suggestion or advice the clerk’s office can offer is for you to: check bookstores for information on filing your own divorce, go to the Law Library [added: located on the second floor of the Denton County Courthouse, 1450 E. McKinney, Denton, Texas] and research the Texas Family Code; CH 6 for information, research on the internet or see an attorney.

PROCEDURES FOR FILING YOUR OWN DIVORCE

  1. Bring your original petition for divorce and 2 copies to the District Clerk’s office to be filed. The rules require the Vital
    Statistical Form be completed, as much as possible, and placed in your file at the time you file your petition. This state
    mandated form will be provided by the Clerk’s office at the time of filing or can be located on the District Clerk’s website.
  2. The filing fees are [as of 08/01/2009] Divorce where spouse signs a waiver $224.00 and Divorce with Citation $232.00
    which are due at the time of filing. Fees for service of the citation are separate and the cost depends on other factors. Please
    note you may need to check and make sure the filing fees have not increased. Payment is accepted in the form of cash,
    money order, cashier’s check or credit card. No personal checks will be accepted.
  3. Your petition will be file stamped with the date and time of filing, assigned a cause number and court. Please make sure you
    have this information available when you contact our office concerning the case. The District Clerk’s phone number is
    940-349-2200 and our hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Wednesday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  4. In most cases, the petition must be on file for at least 60 days before you can go before the judge for the final hearing; please refer to the rules for information.
  5. After the waiting period has expired (if required) and your paperwork is in order, if the spouse signed a waiver, you may
    come to the District Clerk’s office Tuesday – Thursday between the hours of 8:00 – 8:30am to pick up your file and go to the courtroom to present your case to the judge. You do not need to schedule a hearing for agreed divorces. If a citation was
    served and an answer was filed, you will need to schedule a hearing date with the Court Administrator for your assigned court
    and notify the other party of the hearing.
  6. When you come to the for your final hearing, you will need to bring the Final Decree of Divorce; the original and two copies. Please note each courtroom has a dress code.
  7. You will report to the District Clerk’s office to pickup your file and then you will report to the assigned court. Most courts will
    not hear your uncontested cases after 9:00 a.m. so please make sure to arrive early. The judge can not assist you with your
    divorce. You must know how to present your case to the Judge.
  8. If you or your spouse will be receiving child support, you must provide the District Clerk’s office with the required information
    to set up your child support account. The child support information form can be located on the website at
    www.dentoncounty.com and you will go the District Clerk’s Department and look under “Forms or Other Court Support
    Information: or in the District Clerk’s office. Please note all child support payments are federally mandated to be sent through
    the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) PO Box 659791, San Antonio, Texas 78265-9941 and this must be specified in your Final Decree and the Order Withholding.
  9. If you have a waiver divorce the clerk’s office will send a certified copy of the Final Decree to the respondent, but you must provide the copies. The clerk will certify a copy for you, but you must provide the copy. WE ARE SORRY. WE CAN NOT
    LEGALLY ASSIST YOU WITH ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, BUT PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AT 940-349-2200 REGARDING THESE INSTRUCTIONS. Thank You, Sherri Adelstein, Denton County District Clerk.”