Overview of Texas Family Law
Explained by Our Family Law Attorneys in Houston
For experienced assistance in family law matters, contact an attorney who was recognized by the Office of the Attorney General as a subject matter expert in the areas of medical support and the child support review process. Contact an attorney who has handled thousands of claims by calling (281) 612-5443.
Family law is the term applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, a Houston family law attorney at Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. can help you make those decisions.
Texas District Courts
In Texas, the district courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction. Each county is served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas, a single district court may serve multiple counties, while a densely populated county may be served by multiple district courts. Most district courts handle criminal and civil cases, but courts located in densely populated areas may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters. In counties served by a family district court, the family district court has primary responsibility for family law matters. (See Texas Government Code § 24.601.)
Family law matters pertain to:
- Birth records
- Husband and wife
- Parents and children
- Divorce and marriage annulment
- Child welfare, custody, support and reciprocal support, dependency, neglect, and delinquency
The Role of Family Law Attorneys
Typically, family law attorneys assist people in making and breaking legal family relationships. Depending on the circumstances of the case and the desires of the parties, a family law attorney may use mediation, arbitration, litigation, or collaborative law procedures to help her or his clients to resolve their family law matters.
Specific areas of representation include:
- Marriage and relationship planning. Texas favors marriage over co-habitation of unmarried couples and recognizes ceremonial and common law marriages.
- Dissolution of marriage. In Texas, a suit for dissolution of marriage is a suit for divorce, a suit for annulment, or a suit to declare a marriage void.
- Paternity. A paternity suit to establish a parent-child relationship may be necessary before a court may render an order relating to matters such as child custody/visitation or child support.
- Child custody. Whether physical custody of a child should be awarded to one parent or divided between the parents (joint managing conservatorship), and the division under a joint custody arrangement is primarily governed by statute. However, Texas courts have discretion to order child custody arrangements in the best interests of the child.
- Child support. In Texas, a minor has a statutory right to parental support. Matters involving child support, including medical support, are primarily governed by statute.
- Family violence. To stop or prevent family (domestic) violence or dating violence, a person in Texas may file an application for a protective order with the court. In general, a request for a protective order will be granted if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.
- Adoption. Adoption creates the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not so related. In Texas, adoption generally creates all of the rights and obligations that exist between natural parent and child.
Family relations create a host of legal consequences. Whether you are contemplating marriage or divorce, considering adoption, or seeking relief from family violence, contact a Houston family law attorney at Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. for help in resolving your family law matter.
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