The Texas Family Code plays an instrumental role in guiding legal proceedings related to family matters in the state. Chapter Sec. 1.001, along with its subsequent sections, provides significant definitions and provisions that are crucial for legal practitioners and individuals alike. This blog post will help break down the key points.
1. Definitions and Their Applicability:
- The definitions provided in this subchapter hold throughout the title unless mentioned otherwise.
- If a term defined in this subchapter has a different meaning elsewhere in the title, the meaning in that other provision will prevail over this one.
- These definitions aim to create clarity and uniformity across the board.
2. Key Definitions:
- Court: Refers to district courts, juvenile courts with district court jurisdiction, or any other court explicitly given the jurisdiction of a suit under this title.
- Suit for Dissolution of Marriage: Encompasses suits filed for divorce, annulment, or declaring a marriage void.
3. Public Policy Provisions:
- Every Marriage Presumed Valid: Texas aims to uphold the sanctity of every marriage. Every marriage in the state is considered valid unless declared void or voidable based on Chapter 6.
- Most Recent Marriage Presumed Valid: In cases where a person has had multiple marriages, the latest one is considered valid over the preceding ones unless proven otherwise.
- Persons Married Elsewhere: If you were married outside Texas but are domiciled in the state, Texas law will apply to you.
- Capacity of Spouse: Once married under Texas law, regardless of age, an individual has the rights and responsibilities of an adult, including entering contracts.
4. Legal Proceedings and Provisions:
- Joinder in Civil Suits: Spouses have the right to sue or be sued independently, without the involvement of the other spouse. However, in cases where liabilities are joint, both can be joined based on regular party joinder rules.
- Criminal Conversation & Alienation of Affection: Texas does not recognize the right to sue a third party for criminal conversation or for alienation of affection.
- Promise or Agreement Must Be in Writing: Any promise or agreement based on the consideration of marriage or nonmarital cohabitation is only enforceable if it’s in writing and signed.
- Use of Digitized Signature: Digitized signatures on original petitions or other pleadings in proceedings under this title meet the requirements of Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. However, they should be used responsibly and must remain under the sole control of the signatory.
Understanding the Texas Family Code, especially Chapter Sec. 1.001 and its subsequent sections, is essential for legal practitioners, families, and individuals in Texas. These provisions ensure clarity, uphold the sanctity of marriage, and provide guidelines on various family-related legal matters.
If you are seeking representation related to family law in Texas, schedule an exploratory call with The Blacknall Firm. Use this link to set up your appointment today.