Legal issues relating to domestic relations or family matters are typically considered areas of family law. Many family law cases involve concerns relating to marriage, divorce, or children.
Family law cases can be extremely stressful for all parties involved because of the intensely personal nature of their relationships. Any person who is preparing to go to court to resolve a family law issue will want to make sure to retain legal counsel for assistance in achieving the most desirable outcomes to possibly contentious disputes.
Family Law Attorneys in Houston, TX
Are you involved in any kind of family law issue in Harris County? You will want to contact The Gonzalez Law Group as soon as possible.
Our Houston family law attorneys represent clients throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Texas Family Law Information Center
Types of Family Law Cases in Texas
Family law can encompass any one of a number of possible issues, and The Gonzalez Law Group handles a wide variety of these kinds of cases. Common types of family law cases can include, but are not limited to:
- Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage
- Military Divorce
- Same-Sex/LGBTQ Divorce
- Name Changes
- Legal Separation
- Division of Property
- Pre-Marital Agreements
- Spousal Maintenance/Alimony
- Child Custody/Conservatorship
- Child Support
- Enforcement of a Court Order
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Do’s and Don’ts Pending Your Suit
Texas Family Law Definitions
Many different terms and phrases used in family law cases have very specific meanings. For example, Texas Family Code § 101.0010 defines an acknowledged father as a man who has established a father-child relationship under Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code, but a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined is considered an alleged father under Texas Family Code § 101.0015.
An alleged father does not include a presumed father, a man whose parental rights have been terminated or declared to not exist, or a male donor. If you have been involved in a family law dispute, some terms may be confusing. The following is a list of common terms used in family law and how Texas defines those terms in the Texas Family Code. While these terms will give you some context in a family law case, they can only take you so far. It is highly advised you seek out an experienced attorney to guide you through family law situations.
- Acknowledged Father — A man who has established a father-child relationship under Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code.
- Alleged Father — A man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined. Alleged father does not include a presumed father, a man whose parental rights have been terminated or declared to not exist, or a male donor.
- Attorney Ad Litem — An attorney who provides legal services to a person, including a child, and who owes to the person the duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation.
- Child or Minor; Adult — Child or minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age who is not and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes. In the context of child support, “child” includes a person over 18 years of age for whom a person may be obligated to pay child support. An adult is a person who is not a child.
- Child Support Services — Administrative or court actions to establish paternity; establish, modify, or enforce child support, medical support, or dental support obligations; locate absent parents; or cooperate with other states in these actions and any other action authorized or required under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.) or Chapter 231 of the Texas Family Code.
- Clear and Convincing Evidence— The measure or degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.
- Danger to Physical Health or Safety of Child — Includes exposure of the child to loss or injury that jeopardizes the physical health or safety of the child without regard to whether there has been an actual prior injury to the child.
- Disposable Earnings — The part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amount required by law to be withheld, union dues, nondiscretionary retirement contributions, and medical, hospitalization, and disability insurance coverage for the obligor and the obligor’s children.
- Earnings — A payment to or due to an individual, regardless of source and how denominated. The term includes a periodic or lump-sum payment for wages, salary, compensation received as an independent contractor, overtime pay, severance pay, commission, bonus, and interest income; payments made under a pension, an annuity, workers’ compensation, and a disability or retirement program; and unemployment benefits.
- Family Violence — An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or dating violence.
- Foster Care — The placement of a child who is in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services and in care outside the child’s home in a residential child-care facility, including an agency foster home, specialized child-care home, cottage home operation, general residential operation, or another facility licensed or certified under Chapter 42, Human Resources Code, in which care is provided for 24 hours a day.
- Guardian Ad Litem — A person appointed to represent the best interests of a child, including a volunteer advocate from a charitable organization described by Subchapter C who is appointed by the court as the child’s guardian ad litem; a professional, other than an attorney, who holds a relevant professional license and whose training relates to the determination of a child’s best interests; an adult having the competence, training, and expertise determined by the court to be sufficient to represent the best interests of the child; or an attorney ad litem appointed to serve in the dual role.
- Joint Managing Conservatorship — The sharing of the rights and duties of a parent by two parties, ordinarily the parents, even if the exclusive right to make certain decisions may be awarded to one party.
- Managing Conservatorship — The relationship between a child and a managing conservator appointed by court order.
- Obligee — A person or entity entitled to receive payments of child support, including an agency of this state or of another jurisdiction to which a person has assigned the person’s right to support.
- Parent — The mother, a man presumed to be the father, a man legally determined to be the father, a man who has been adjudicated to be the father by a court of competent jurisdiction, a man who has acknowledged his paternity under applicable law, or an adoptive mother or father. A parent does not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated unless the person is ordered to pay child support or to provide medical support for a child for purposes of establishing, determining the terms of, modifying, or enforcing an order.
- Parent-Child Relationship — The legal relationship between a child and the child’s parents as provided by Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code. The term includes the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship.
- Standard Possession Order — An order that provides a parent with rights of possession of a child in accordance with the terms and conditions of Subchapter F, Chapter 153 of the Texas Family Code.
- Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship — A suit filed as provided by this title in which the appointment of a managing conservator or a possessory conservator, access to or support of a child, or establishment or termination of the parent-child relationship is requested. The following are not suits affecting the parent-child relationship: a habeas corpus proceeding under Chapter 157 of the Texas Family Code; a proceeding filed under Chapter 159 of the Texas Family Code to determine parentage or to establish, enforce, or modify child support, whether this state is acting as the initiating or responding state; and a proceeding under Title 2.
Family Law Resources in Harris County
Family Code | Texas Constitution and Statutes | Texas Legislature — The Texas Family Code governs such areas of family law as marriage, divorce, children, and property rights. View the full text of state laws relating to these family law issues. On this website, you can also view the Texas Health and Safety Code and Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Texas Family Law Court | Texas Young Lawyers Association — View the full text of a Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) booklet that discusses how family law cases work in Texas. Learn more about court appearances, ADR options, and child protection cases. The booklet also has information about visitation, child support, and modification of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
Family Law Attorneys in Houston, TX
If you need help with a family law matter in Southeast Texas, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel. The Gonzalez Law Group will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your situation.
Our lawyers in Houston assist individuals in the greater Harris County area including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and many others.
You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (832) 530-4070 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.