Texas is the divorce capital of the United States, with one of the highest rates in the country. People marry and re-marry with impunity. With this in mind, the state has had to come up with a system to manage those records so they can be accessed by any person might have a marriage-related need or concern. If you're on the hunt for marriage records in Texas, you're in luck. There are plenty of different ways to access those records. Here are three interesting tips to get you going in your search.
Free records search services are valuable
While there's not a single national database that can guide you where you need to go to find marriage records in Texas, there are free search services that can put you on the right track. Often, these services only require that you have a small amount of information to look up what you need. Many marriage records are in the public domain, so you'll be able to find and look through them. This is an excellent place to start if you're looking for something basic and don't want to go through the trouble of conducting a more exhaustive search.
The county clerk's office is your best bet
Marriage records in Texas are maintained by the country clerk in each area. As you search in Texas, remember the state has many counties. Just within the Houston metro area, for instance, there's Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Montgomery County. You may have to attempt to find records in each of these places if you're searching for a person you know got married around the city. The same is true of Dallas, where the Metroplex has many different counties where people live and get married. Remember that the marriage records are generally housed where the person got married and where their marriage license was issued.
Some counties have digital records, while others do not
There is never going to be a question about whether marriage records in Texas exist. The only question will be your ability to access them from afar. Some counties have gotten with the modern program, putting all of their records in a digitized database. Others have been much slower to adjust. Many smaller counties lack the money needed to digitize these databases, so they keep the records in a traditional way. You may have to physically go to the clerk's office to track down some records in extraordinary circumstances. Be prepared for this, but exhaust your online options first.
Where are you looking for marriage records in Texas? Your answer to this question will have a major impact on your ability to find what you're after. In the end, Texas is a large state and there is no centralized system for looking up these records. You may be at the mercy of each individual county clerk and the extent to which that person has modernized his or her systems. Keep this in mind as you set off on your search.