Texas Family Law: An Overview
Family law is a field of the legal system that specifically deals specifically with domestic matters and family related issues. There are many different areas of this particular law which deal with issues such as adoption, marriage, divorce, alimony, division of assets and liabilities, property distribution and so on. Each of these areas of family law will have specific laws governing them and their enforcement. For example, in the state of Texas, all family law proceedings will take place in a court room. The family courts are part of the Texas legal system and can be found in all local courthouses.
In the state of Texas, just about every family relationship will involve a form of some sort involving children or both. For example, if you are getting divorced in Texas, then one issue that will need to be considered is the issue of child custody. In many cases, the mother will retain sole custody of their children or have full and total control over them. If the father wishes to pursue a relationship with the child’s other parent(s), they will need to file a petition for custody. If the petition is approved, the judge will then make a decision about who the child will live with, whether or not they will have joint legal custody, and what type of visitation schedule will be established. Texas family law courts are notoriously controversial and are known for their biases towards the mothers and against the fathers.
Another facet of Texas family law deals with marriage. The state’s family relationships laws differ depending on the jurisdiction that a case is filed in. A Texas same-sex couple might find that they are treated more equal to their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to matters of child custody, visitation and marriage than their heterosexual counterparts are.
Criminal law also plays an important role in Texas family law. If you wish to file a divorce case, then you will have to make your way through the court system. Even though the procedure for filing a divorce is often lessened than in the other areas of life, it is still quite complex and often results in a lengthy court battle.
A separate division of the Texas court system manages cases involving the criminal justice system, including bailiffs, judges, constables and juries. If you would like to gain custody of your children following a divorce, then you must first appear before a judge to secure your right to do so. You can also request a trial by the entire family court system, which can result in an extensive amount of time wasted at the court house. If you are unable to settle your case between yourselves, then you may wish to file for a temporary restraining order against your spouse.
Texas criminal law differs slightly than other states in that the penalties for most criminal cases are assessed individually to the defendant rather than the victims. This means that if you are being accused of a crime that is punishable by a jail term, you may be able to reduce your sentence by appealing to the court to apply different sentencing guidelines. There are some exceptions, including statutory rape, assault, murder, child pornography, theft, grand theft, arson and drug possession. These laws vary significantly in the extent of their applicability and you should consult a professional Texas criminal lawyer who is experienced in handling criminal cases to determine your rights. A conviction for a crime can have a significant impact on your ability to obtain a promotion, rent an apartment or serve in the military.