For some people, marriage is the logical end of two formerly strangers meeting and falling in love. Their bond formed between what were once two strangers who, if not for some glitch of circumstances, would not have met is founded on love, trust, mutual commitment, and a shared future. The day that the bride walks down the aisle into the arms of her waiting groom is celebrated and the audience would be hard-pressed to find a naysayer amongst those who would applaud the couple as they take their first walk as husband and wife.
The reality, however, is that marriages end, at least, from the legal viewpoint. For the contractual relationship between the bride and groom that is called marriage, death is an end. It could be the demise of one of the two parties, but with a rate of three out of every five marriages ending in a divorce; it is safe to say that, more often than not, it is the marriage itself that dies.
Divorce records are those set of papers that contain information regarding the contractual relationship between the two parties under the contract called marriage and the proceedings that were carried out in order to end that relationship. The maintenance of such records are mandated by law not only as a means for a higher authority to confirm that the substantive and procedural due process had been complied with, but also for practical purposes, such as when one of the two parties to the divorce would like to be married again.
Webb County was founded in 1848, and the Office of the District Clerk of Webb County has records of divorces granted in the County that dates back to the year 1968. These divorce records are considered to be public records, and thus, fall under the purview of the Texas Public Information Act which presumes that all public documents are records are, subject to exemptions, available to the public.
In the State of Texas, the state government could not provide certified copies of divorce records, but they could provide verification of their existence. The process to acquire such verification typically begins with an internet application using a credit card, but a second process, one that requires the person who wishes to obtain verification through the use of a filled out form downloadable from the website of the Texas Department of State Health Services, is also available. These verification request takes anywhere between ten to fifteen days to complete and costs twenty dollars.
For certified copies of divorce records, the search must begin at the district clerk of the county where the divorce was granted. The same statute that makes the records available to the public also provides for the procedure to obtain such certified copies. According to the Texas Public Information Act, a person who wishes to obtain a certified copy of a divorce record should write a formal request for the same and send the request to the district clerk of the county where the divorce was granted. The more information that could be provided to the district clerk, the easier it would be for the district clerk to locate the records. It must be noted, however, that any fees that must be paid should be paid within ten days of the printing of the request, otherwise, the request shall be considered as having been automatically withdrawn.
There is also the option of taking the search to the World Wide Web. Online, specialized databases provide information not only on divorce records, but also on other vital records. These databases are easy to use, almost instantaneous with the results, and costs nothing most of the time. The searcher also has the added comfort of not even leaving his or her own home to conduct the search since he or she only require a computer with an internet connection and the same set of information that are required for a manual search by the district clerk.