Civil and Family Case Filing FAQ's

Civil and Family Case Filing FAQ's

George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building - 600 Commerce Street, Suite 103, Dallas, TX 75202
Telephone: (214) 653-7307

How do I file for divorce?

The District Clerk strongly urges you to retain an attorney to handle your divorce. However, state law does permit you to represent yourself. If you choose to do so and file your own divorce petition, any mistakes you make filing your case and pursuing it in the courts may result in a dismissal and additional fees. There is no provision in state law permitting the clerk to refund filing fees due to errors made by the filer or if you later choose not to pursue your case. The District Clerk is prohibited by state law from providing you information on how to file a case or pursue it in our courts. The clerk’s Legal Assistance page provides links to online instructional resources that may assist you in preparing your documents and understanding how the process works. In addition, the Texas State Bar has published a helpful fill-in form for use in filing a divorce proceeding without children. That form is located on the clerks Downloadable Forms page.

Where can I get a copy of my Divorce Decree?

Please contact the district clerk’s records department in order to obtain copies or certified copies of your divorce decree at this link: Civil Court Records.

How much is the fee to file a pleading?

You may obtain fee information by clicking here.

What forms of payment is accepted at the File Desk?

Cash, check, money order or VISA and MasterCard.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The time frames for completion of a divorce vary by case. The shortest time frame is 61 days.

How do I get service documents issued in a case and how many copies do they need?

The request and payment is made at the File Desk. The fees can be located here.

Generally, one file marked copy of the document is needed not including the original.  In Family cases when an order is served, two copies are needed for each service document.  Note: the party being served must be listed in the pleading.

Where do I file Civil or Family pleadings?

Attorneys are REQUIRED to file electronically in the district courts of Dallas County. Self-represented litigants (those without attorneys) are permitted to file their pleadings in paper form at the Pearl C. Smith Civil File Desk on the 1st floor West of the George L. Allen Courts Building. Pleadings that do not require a fee can be filed directly at the clerk’s window adjacent to the court in which the case is heard.

Self-represented litigants may also file electronically at no cost. 

Can we file County Court at Law pleadings in the District Clerk's Office?

No. They are two totally different offices.

How do I file an Appeal?

Appeals are heard by the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas and the Supreme Court of Texas. Pursuing an appeal requires specialized legal expertise and an attorney is typically necessary. However, if you choose to represent yourself, please visit our Legal Assistance page for links to online resources. You may also visit the 5th court of Appeals website at for additional filing information.

What is a paternity case?

It is a court case to determine who the father of a child is.

I overpaid filing fees and/or court costs. How can I obtain a refund for the amount I overpaid?

Once your case is final, please send a written refund request to the district clerk’s accounting section at the following address:

Dallas County District Clerk
Trust & Accounting Department
George Allen Courts Building
600 Commerce Street Basement
Dallas, Texas 75202

Please contact David Bradley at with any questions you may have.

How can I have child support payments taken out of my paycheck?

A copy of the Order of Withholding, $15.00, and a letter containing the name and address of the employer’s payroll division along with the requestor’s name, address and phone number should be sent to the district clerk’s civil file desk at:

Dallas County District Clerk
Civil File Desk
George Allen Courts Building
600 Commerce Street
Suite 103
Dallas, Texas 75202

After your information has been received, a copy of the Order of Withholding will be sent to the employer by certified mail.