Texas Family Law

Texas laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute Texas State Statute
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Community Property
a. Methods of apportionment
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Requires Van Camp
b. Property distribution factors
4. Legal separation? Since Texas has no legal separation laws, informal separations are often worked out.  Separation can be a viable option for a couple who has not decided to divorce yet and is still trying to determine the best option.  Living apart can give a couple the space and time they need to decide if they want to resolve their problems or part ways permanently.  Time apart can be time to heal, time to receive counseling, and time to focus on how to put a marriage back together.
a. Waiting period/Separation period 3 years
5. Is mediation required

Per Texas Family Code 6.602, Texas Family Law Case Mediation is a process in which an impartial third person (a mediator) assists those involved in family breakdown (in particular separating or divorcing couples and single parents) to communicate better with one another and reach their own agreed and informed decisions about their children, finances, property, division of other assets and any additional issues relevant to their separation agreement.

Mediation is an alternative to solicitors negotiating for you or having decisions made for you by the courts.  Entering mediation is always voluntary.

 

6. Forms used
7. Alimony guidelines and factors Alimony guidelines
Alimony formula
a. Types
b. Term Limits Texas caps the amount of maintenance that court will may award in alimony at $5,00 per month or 20% of the spouse’s average monthly gross income. TEX. FAMILY CODE ANN. § 8.051
Cohabitation
c. Imputing income
d. Change in circumstances
e. Ceases on retirement
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income
8. Child support factors and guidelines
9. Child support calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed?
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Trial
b. Goodwill divisibility Personal goodwill is not divisible.  Enterprise goodwill is divisible. - Nail v. Nail, 486 S.W.2d 761 (Tex. 1972)
c. Standard of value Fair market value
d. Discounts
e. Shareholder/partner agreements
 12. Double dip  Impermissable double dip, not issue because personal goodwill not divisible
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall determine the rights of both spouses in a pension, retirement plan, annuity, individual retirement account, employee stock option plan, stock option, or other form of savings, bonus, profit-sharing, or other employer plan or financial plan of an employee or a participant, regardless of whether the person is self-employed, in the nature of compensation or savings.
 c. Child support
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act adopted
 15. Common law  A valid common law marriage in Texas is where a man and woman become husband and wife without getting a marriage license and having a marriage ceremony.  Once established, a common law marriage has the same legal effect as a ceremonial marriage.  To have a common law marriage in the state, you must do three things:  (1) Agree to be married (2) Live together as husband and wife, and (3) Told others (hold yourselves out) that you are married.


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