Get the order signed by the judge and get copies of it. This was easy and quick.
Cost: $4.50 for the parking meter, $6 for 3 copies ($1/page)
The only thing I have left to do is notify everyone. But that’s pretty ancillary so I’m going to go ahead and mark this DONE!
I has one. (next week!)
Also – there are NO drivers license offices inside the loop? NONE? what the hell?
In Texas, at least, they don’t want them when you first file – they want you to send them off to DPS after you file. My court had a fingerprint card that they tried to give me with the Court’s ORI# (some number that has to be on the card) preprinted on it. If you don’t get your card from them then you will need to find out what that number is for your district court. You’ll also need to remember to write your case # on the card. They gave me an instruction sheet with what to fill out, where to send it, and who to make the check out to (as of this date it’s $39 which covers both DPS and FBI fingerprint checks).
File the petition.
This was pretty easy too – in Harris County you go to the big county courthouse at 201 Caroline, Suite 110, and give them your petition. I got some new guy who was not the brightest crayon in the box, alas, but someone who had been there a really long time swooped in and took care of it. Basically the process is:
1. Tell them why you’re there
2. Hand them your petition and order
3. Pay the $227 (that’s the filing fee as of this date, anyway)
4. Go upstairs to the clerk for whichever court you’re assigned to, and get the address of where to mail your fingerprint card
That’s it! Don’t forget to bring money for parking.
I will mail the fingerprint card to the FBI tomorrow. Once they process it then the court will give me a call to set up a court date to finalize it.
Cost: $227 plus change for the meter
Got the petition notarized. Easy peasy. Cost: $6
Fill out the petition and order. I got the birth certificates in the mail today (didn’t take that long to get them—I was surprised) so I printed out the documents in the previous entry and have them all filled out. The next step is to get the petition notarized.
In the meantime I’ve been making a list of who all needs notifying after it’s done and what documentation they need and which ones need to be done in person. So far I think only the bank and the DMV require a personal visit.
This may not be up to date so you should always check this against the Family Code for what is required. But it’s nice to have a starting point.
Get fingerprinted. This one was easy – there’s a passport/notary/fingerprinting services place right near where I work. It was fairly inexpensive as well, and the process was kind of hilarious. If you’ve never had a complete stranger (in this case a sweet lady shorter than I am) grab a hold of your fingers one by one and roll them on a paper, you really should try it. I was struggling not to laugh.
So whenever I get my birth certificate I’ll be ready for Step 3 – getting the petition notarized. I’ll probably go back to the same lady.
Get a copy (or two) of my birth certificate. Everyone and their mother will want one of these. Request sent to Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Edit: I didn’t end up needing this for the actual court process, but it is good to have.
I’ve decided to go back to my maiden name. A new start.
From what I can tell this is going to be a process I will have to figure out on my own. Harris County, TX gives you NO HELP WHATSOEVER. All I have been able to find out is what information goes on the petition and that I must also submit fingerprints (those two via the Family Code) and I am pretty sure I must also bring my birth certificate. The court refuses to tell you what supporting documentation you have to bring with you, though, which is completely insane. They only tell you where to go and what the filing fee is. So, I’ll relay my experiences here just in case someone else from Harris County ends up needing them.