The term “family law” encompasses a range of legal matters. While most people believe it’s primarily – divorce, visitation, and child support, there’s more to it than that.
Family law attorneys handle a wide range of issues and conflicts that occur within a family. They may also work in conjunction with other attorneys (such as bankruptcy attorneys) to help a family get their life back together after a devastating event, such as a job loss or death of a member.
The Extent Of Family Law
The term includes all the laws, rules, regulations, and court procedures that apply to the family unit. This can involve:
- Marriage, including common law marriage and prenuptial agreements
- Paternity, including DNA testing
- Parentage and visitations
- Child Support
- Financial issues such as property ownership and responsibility, debts, taxes, and bankruptcy
Additionally, family law covers:
- Arbitration and mediation
- Termination of parental rights
- Foster Care
- Court proceedings for abused or troubled juveniles
- Emancipation of minors from parents
- Name changes
- Reproductive rights
- Domestic partnerships (in some Texas counties)
Note that Texas does not recognize civil unions as some other states do.
Family law is one of the most emotionally charged fields of law in Texas, and not every attorney handles them. Some law firms handle divorces alongside traffic tickets and personal injury cases. But if you need help beyond an uncontested divorce, it’s important to find an attorney who handles a full range of family law issues and understands the court system that encompasses it.
Family Law In Tarrant County
Texas judges have one goal when deciding on conservatorship (child custody) issues: what is the best interest of the child?
Tarrant County’s family law courts offer services to assist parents who are terminating their marital relationships and transitioning into co-parenting their children after the divorce is final. There are also three additional courts specific to child support. Their mission statement is:
To serve families, county departments, and the courts to maximize the quality of life for Tarrant County families by providing services and information to assist parties in understanding and complying with the party’s duties and obligations concerning child support, medical support, access, and possession.
Family court services are a part of the Domestic Relations Office. There, parents can attend an online orientation and learn about the family court process as well as access other information and resources. You can find out more about the available court services, required forms, as well as about co-parenting and parental coordination. Most of these services are free, or available for a nominal cost.
Note that currently, in-person court services are suspended until further notice due to the current COVID-19 situation.
Tarrant County Family Law Attorney
Wendy L. Hart is an experienced family law attorney helping people throughout Tarrant County who need help with divorce, conservatorship, parenting, and other difficulties. As a divorcee herself, Wendy understands the process and will work to protect your rights and your children’s interests.