Family law in Texas is an area of law that focuses on issues regarding familial relationships, which includes adoption, divorce, child custody among others. A Texas Family Law Attorney can represent clients in court or in related negotiations, such as informal settlement agreements or formal mediation.
The following is a primer on family law and what it entails.
Helpful Terms to Know
- Emancipation: A courtroom process through which a minor becomes self-supporting, assumes adult obligation for their own welfare and is no longer under the care of his or her parents.
- Marital or Community Property: Any property acquired during the marriage by either party, regardless of whose name the title is in. Marital or community property is divisible in divorce.
- Alimony or Spousal Allowance: Payments made to one spouse either during or after a divorce proceeding.
- Paternity: Origin or descent from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father).
- Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement between two persons prior to marriage that sets forth separate property, community property, income, and division of property in the event of separation and divorce.
- Divorce: A formal court proceeding to end a marriage and divide assets and debts in a fair and equitable manner.
- Separate Property: Any property that is determined to be acquired prior to the marriage of the parties, or that has been received by gift or inheritance whether before or during the marriage.
- Mediation: A formal negotiation meeting with a neutral third party wherein the parties attempt to negotiate a formal agreement in dividing assets and debts within a divorce proceeding. Mediation is also available during child custody or child support proceedings. An Agreement reached in Mediation is binding on the parties.
- Possession and Access: The proper terminology for visitation rights. Texas Family Code has a standard possession and access schedule which allows set periods of time for the parent to spend with the child. Possession and access schedules can be customized to meet the needs of the family.
- Voluntary Relinquishment: A form signed by a parent that wishes to voluntarily terminate their own parental rights.
Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney
Family Law is an extraordinarily broad area of law, which includes issues outside of divorce, such as adoption, paternity, name changes, child custody, child visitation, and enforcement actions. Because Family Law is so broad, it is important to have a Trusted Texas Family Law Attorney to ensure your rights and your family are protected. Family Law Attorneys typically represent clients in the following areas:
- Child Custody / Child Support
- Name Changes
- Enforcement Actions
- Protective Orders
- Restraining Orders
As divorce attorneys, Family Law Attorneys can represent clients in an agreed divorce, contested divorces, or collaborative divorces. There are several issues that can be present within a Texas divorce case, including child custody, possession and access (visitation), and child support issues, along with property division.
Sometimes child custody, possession and access, and child support are addressed outside of a divorce case. These cases can sometimes be simply because the parents were not married, or it could be due to a modification of terms from the original divorce decree.
Name changes can also be included in divorce proceedings and in child issues, such as paternity cases or termination and adoptions.
Related Practice Areas
Family Law can sometimes intersect with other areas of law, including criminal law, guardianship law, and probate. For example, family violence and child abuse commonly involve criminal investigations (and may bring about arrests and charges), while the family court is tasked with protecting the family and children, either by supervised visitations or no contact or protective orders. Other areas of law that may intersect include:
- Estate Planning
- Immigration and Naturalization Law
- Criminal Law
- Elder Law
- Guardianship Law
- Probate Law
Need Help With a Family Law Matter? Talk to a Professional
At the Law Office of Ronda S Haynes, PLLC, we know the importance of family. We have the necessary experience to represent clients in all aspects of family law. We also represent clients in other areas of law that meets the entire needs of the family, including estate planning, guardianship law, and probate law. When hiring an attorney to represent you and your family, it is important to ensure the attorney you hire is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas.