Finding Civil Documents
Canon 1544 of Canon (Church) Law requires authentic documents to be submitted in this process.
A certified civil document is an official copy from the government court/agency with its official seal.
The Tribunal Office will accept a photocopy of a certified civil document.
A marriage application and license can generally be found in the County Clerk's Office of the county and state in which the license was obtained. A divorce decree can generally be found in the District Clerk's Office of the county and state in which the divorce was obtained. Some counties will check their records for free while other charge a search fee.
At the Vital Records Information – United States website, you can search by state and county to find the name of the county office, address and telephone to locate documents of death, marriage and divorce. Rather than use the paid service that this website charges, it is much cheaper if you then contact the county office yourself and request the information to obtain the document(s) yourself.
If the marriage and divorce took place in Texas and you need to know the date and the county in which the marriage or divorce took place, you can search for this information at the Texas Department of Health-Bureau of Vital Statistics website. The address and telephone number of a county clerk or district clerk in Texas can be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/field/localremotedistrict.shtm.
It is required that you submit a certified copy of the complete and final divorce decree signed and dated by the judge with each petition submitted. The divorce decree does not become final until it is signed and dated by the judge. Therefore, the divorce decree that you submit to the Tribunal MUST be signed and dated by the judge. Do NOT use the date that is sometimes at the beginning of the divorce petition. This is the date when the divorce hearing took place and may differ from when the judge actually signed and dated the decree. Be aware that a county and state may issue a final divorce decree that is different from the divorce petition itself.
NOTE: If you were married and divorced more than once to the same person, submit a certified copy of all civil marriage licenses and all divorce decrees (signed and dated by the judge).
You can request certain documents online at the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office website.