TIPS FOR GOING TO FAMILY LAW COURT IN FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS
By: Marilyn Gale Vilyus
Please note that Fort Bend County has a new courthouse location at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, Texas 77469. Map it
While plenty of parking will be available, allow yourself enough time to make sure you go to the right place!
ALWAYS BRING YOUR PAPERWORK WITH YOU!
If you are finalizing a divorce WITHOUT an attorney, you will need to turn in your paperwork at the district clerk’s office on the first floor before going to the courtroom. While you are there, you will also sign up on the uncontested docket for your Court. Check requirements for electronic filing.
Your decree will state which Court you are in near the top of the first page. At the very top is your case number which you will also put on the signup sheet. Whether you have an attorney or not, do not be alarmed if the video screen outside the courtroom does not list your case. That listing does NOT include uncontested cases.
Someone in the clerk’s office will let you know if you should go to the regular courtroom or if you should go to the associate judge’s court. Also, she will remind you of all of the forms you need to have completed, along with your decree.
If you have a court hearing scheduled (ie. your attorney gave you notice or you received notice from the opposing side), then go directly to the courtroom. Again, you need to know your court and case number so that someone can help you if you end up lost! If you have a scheduled court hearing, your case should appear on the television screen, and if it does not, you should check with someone to see if you are in the wrong place!
Sometimes a Court will do an odd number-even number system in which certain cases are sent directly to the associate judge. Check for notices at the courtroom to see if you should go to a different court.
Always plan to be at court early! You do not ever want to miss your case being called! Also, remember that you will have to go through security when you arrive, so dress conveniently!
Don’t forget to dress in “Sunday church-type” clothes – no shorts or flip-flops! Do not wear clothes that are too tight or sexy – or that might appear disrespectful to the Court. Never chew gum or wear sunglasses or a hat while in Court!
If you have an attorney, he or she will let you know where to meet and at what time. If you are going to be late, let your attorney know. If you do not have an attorney, call the court.
Be sure to have the court’s phone number, your court number and your case number handy while you are driving in case you need to pull over to make this phone call!
If your case is uncontested, you should be done early, since these cases are taken first. If you have a formally scheduled hearing, it may take longer since you will have to wait until your particular case is called.
Planning to arrive early and having your documents with you will help your court experience to go smoothly and successfully!
FORT BEND COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER
1422 Eugene Heimann Cir