Family Law – What does it mean?

One of the many questions we get as a family law attorney as Arlington TX relies on is “What is Family Law?”  Some people are quick to assume that family law deals with only divorce or child support. While that may be partially true, family law encompasses a broad range of topics involving marriage and children. Family law includes such topics as divorce/annulment, child support, spousal maintenance, access and possession, conservatorship and even name changes. Some other topics family law covers are adoptions, guardianships, restraining orders, protective orders, even child protective services (CPS) cases.


In some states, some of the more populated counties have dedicated Family Law Courts. These are courts that specifically hear family law cases. Quite often you will see an Associate Court and a District Court assigned under the same number. For example: the 121st District Court will also have the 121st Associate Court. Normally, the Associate Courts in family law deal with the initial stages of a family law case such as Temporary Orders hearings. The District Court deals with the final stages of a family law case such as Final Decree of Divorce. In the less populated counties, family law cases will be assigned to either a District Court or a County Court that deals with multiple areas of the law.


Oftentimes, people believe what happens in one state will apply to another state. For example: Tex Lonestar lives in the great state of Texas. Tex searches the web and reads that State A calculates child support based on both incomes of the parents.  Tex attempts to calculate child support in Texas based on what he read about State A. In Texas, the Texas Family Code, is the legislative law that dictates what happens with regards to family law and the court system. In the Texas Family Code, child support is calculated based on the monthly income of one parent. Tex will only be able to calculate child support based on Texas law because Tex lives in Texas. This does not mean that Texas will not recognize family law cases from other states. Each state has its own family law rules and procedures. What works in what state does not necessarily work in another. You have to speak to an attorney in your state to determine your guidelines.


It is true that other areas of the law have challenging aspects and emotional highs and lows. However, family law is the one area of law that allows a person to see the emotional impact upfront and personal. Whether it is a divorce or an adoption, family law impacts the the lives of the people that encounter it. The court process itself can be very confusing and it would be wise to consult a family law attorney help explain your rights and to protect your interests.


If you or anyone you know has questions pertaining to family law or wishes to have a free 30-minute consultation, please contact the family law attorneys at the Brandy Austin Law Firm. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of family law cases including divorce, custody, adoptions and child support.


Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law practice.

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