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Effective: Aug 10, 2015
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Family Law

The County Courts At Law of Johnson County, by special legislature, have jurisdiction over cases involving family matters, including suits seeking dissolution of a marriage, adoptions, and suits affecting the parent-child relationship.

Procedure for initial filing: The initiation of a family law suit is always at the option of the petitioner by filing an original petition with the clerk of the court.   The petition sets out exactly who the respondent(s) is and the grounds of the suit.  The parties or attorney's for the parties prepare all instruments in a family law case except for the clerk's processes.  The role of the clerk is to record these instruments, make them available to the court as requested, and to inform the parties of important actions in the case by issuing appropriate process at the request of the parties or their attorney(s).  Cases are assigned to a specific court on a rotating basis.   New Office of Court Administration reporting requirements necessitate that prescribed case cover sheets be submitted with each new petition filed.   Forms are available for downloading at the bottom of the page.

Electronic Filing:  Effective May 19, 2014, civil case documents may be filed electronically through
                               Effective January 1, 2015, by order of the Texas Supreme Court, all civil case documents must be filed ectronically and no documents will be accepted over the counter or through the mail except those filed by prose litigants.

New Fees become effective September 1, 2015 (see downloads below)

The following are fees for the initial filing of a family law case due and payable at time of filing:

Basic Charge-Dissolution of Marriage

$ 247.00

Basic Charge-All other Family Law Cases

$ 232.00

Each Citation Issued

$     4.00

Each in county service by Constable or Sheriff

$   85.00

Fee for each minor child affected

$     1.00

CAR Fund Fee (paid at time Petition for Adoption** is filed and an   extra copy of the petition must be provided

$   15.00

Subsequent filing procedure: All documents, other than process issued by the clerk at the direction of the parties, are prepared by the parties or their attorneys and filed directly with the clerk to be presented to the court for consideration.  Fees for subsequent filings and issuance of process are as follows and are due and payable at the time the service is rendered:

Action Other Than Original (Cross  Actions/Modifications/Interventions

$   80.00

Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship Motions

$   30.00

Subpoena - Before Judgment

$     5.00


$     4.00


$     4.00


$     4.00

Commission to Take Deposition

$     4.00


$     4.00

Any other document authorized and issued by the Clerk

$     4.00

Issuance of Documents (after judgment)


Writ of Attachment

$     5.00

Any other document authorized and issued by the Clerk

$     5.00

Jury Fee (due before trial date can be set)

$   22.00

Service of Process by Constable or Sheriff: Fees for service of process performed by a Johnson County Constable or an officer of the Sheriff's Department are:


$   85.00


$   85.00

Writ of Attachment

$ 175.00

All Court Citations

$   85.00

Notices (Show Cause, Trustee Sale, etc.)

$   85.00

All Restraining Orders/Injuctions

$   85.00


$   50.00

Posting of Notices/Citations

$   50.00

Fingerprinting Fee

$   10.00

Service of Process by Authorized Person other than Constable or Sheriff: Process may be served in many instances by a private citizen authorized by order of the court to provide this service.  In order to qualify, the person must be 18 years of age or older, have no interest in the case, and have on file with the appropriate court an affidavit stating these facts; or be certified by the Texas Supreme Court.  An ‘Order for Rule 103' for the judge's signature must be presented with each request for such service.

Service of Process by Certified Mail by the Clerk: Upon request of the party requesting issuance of process, the clerk will serve the citation by mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached.  The fee for service by certified mail is $85.00.

Waiver of Service: A party to a suit for the dissolution of a marriage may waive the issuance and service of process after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk a waiver by the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.  The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party who executed the waiver and be sworn to after the date of filing of the original petition.  (Family Code Sec. 6.4035)

Citation by Publication: Service of citation may be by publication upon filing of an affidavit stating the whereabouts of the defendant is unknown.  Process is issued by the clerk and returned to the party or the party's attorney for publication in the appropriate publication.  A publisher's affidavit must be filed with the clerk.   In suits in which a parent-child relationship does not exist, service by publication may be completed by posting the citation where public notices are posted in the courthouse for seven days ($45.00 posting fee).

**Adoptions: Pursuant to Family Code Sec. 102.013(b) ,in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship which requests the adoption of a child, the clerk shall file the suit and all the papers relating to the suit in a new file having a new docket number and are closed records (Family Code Sec. 162.022).  The fee for filing an adoption petition is that of an original filing plus the CAR Fund Fee and any fees for issuance and service of process requested.

For information concerning the status or disposition of specific family law cases, please call (817)556-6323 Ext 1311 or (817)556-6323 Ext 1314.  Copies and/or name searches may be obtained by calling (817)556-6323 Ext 1316.

 All fees are due and payable at time of service.  Personal checks are not accepted.  Attorney's business checks are accepted.  Visa and Master Card credit cards accepted.   Fees may be applied to the credit card via telephone or mail by supplying the account number, expiration date, and card holder's zip code.

Civil Case Information Sheet - Fill In
Civil Case Information Sheet - Printable
Civil Case Information Sheet Instructions
E-file Requirements and FAQs
Fee Schedule Effective September 1, 2015