Legislative Update - Family Law

Texas Legislative Updates In Family Law September 2015

The following is a list of House Bills and Senate Bills that have caused changes, effective currently unless otherwise noted, in the area of Family Law:

House Bills

  1. HB 826.  This bill amends Section 105.006 (e-2) of the Texas Family Code to require additional mandatory language in orders that orders child support.  The orders are now to include a boldface statement in capital letters that outlines the circumstances under which the court may modify a child support order.
  2. HB910.  This bill amends the law to permit the carrying of handguns that are not concealed.  Numerous provisions in the Family Code were amended to remove the word concealed.  Effective January 1, 2016.
  3. HB 1500.  This bill amends Section 156.006(b-1) of the Texas Family Code.  When filing a motion for a temporary order based on the allegation that the child’s present circumstances would significantly impair the child’s physical health or development, the person requesting the temporary order must execute and attach an affidavit based on his/her personal knowledge or representations made by someone with personal knowledge that contain the facts and support the allegation.   The court shall deny the relief and decline to set the matter for a hearing unless it determines on the basis of the affidavit that the facts are adequate to support the allegation.
  4. HB 1781.  Section 102.0045 of the Texas Family Code is modified to allow the sibling of a child separated for a sibling as a result of an action by the Department of Family Protective Services to file an original suit for access to the child.
  5. HB 3121.  Sections 157.001 and 157.062 of the Texas Family Code are amended to grant the courts broader authority with respect to enforcing temporary orders, including temporary restraining orders, standing orders, injunctions, and any other temporary order rendered by the court.
  6. HB 4086.  Section 201.015(a) of the Texas Family Code is amended relating to the right to a de novo hearing before the referring court after a temporary order was rendered by an associate judge in certain family law proceedings.

Senate Bills

  1. SB 206.  Effective September 1, 2016, Section 161.001(b) is amended to include that a parent who has been convicted of places on community supervision in another jurisdiction under a law that contains elements substantially similar to the elements of any the sections of the Penal Code listed in Section 161.001(b)(1)(L) of the Texas Family code can lead to involuntary termination of the parent-child relationship.
  2. SB 314.  Section 263. 409 is amended to include a requirement that the Department of Family and Protective Services provide a nonparent managing conservator of a child with an explanation of the differences between adoption and appointment as managing conservator and to inform them of the rights and duties of a managing conservator before the court renders an order appointing them as managing conservator.
  3. SB 737 (HB 1660).  Section 85.042 is amended to require courts to send protective orders to law enforcement by the end of the next business day and to permit transmission in electronic form.
  4. SB 812 (HB 1826).  Section 201.001 is amended to allow associate judges to hear and render orders on name change suits pursuant to Title 1, Chapter 45 of the Texas Family Code.
  5. SB 814.  Section 6.4035 is amended to remove the requirement that a waiver of service be sworn before a notary public if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.  Also, the section is amended to prohibit the use of a digitized signature on a waiver.  In addition, parties are now authorized to waive the issuance or service of citation in suits to remove the disability of a minor, a suit to change the name of an adult or a child, or a suit relating to the parent child-relationship through amendment of sections 31.008. 45.0031, 45.107 and 102.0091.
  6. SB 815.  Section 6.501(a) is amended to include new forms of electronic communications and documents in temporary injunctions the court may issue and adds a list of additional protections of parties after filing for a divorce.
  7. SB 817.  Section 153.005, regarding the issuance of a protective order and the appointment of a managing conservator in certain family law proceedings is amended.
  8. SB 818.  Sections 153.076 is amended to add subsections (b-1) and (c-1) and amending subsection (d).  Section 153.076(b-1) require a court to order that each conservator of a child has the duty to inform the other conservator under certain circumstances concerning whether the conservator establishes a residence with someone subject to a protective order, lives with or provides unsupervised access to a child to someone subject to a protective order, or is subject to a protective order themselves after the date of the order establishing conservatorship.  Section (c-1) outlines the notice requirements and (d) is amended to include failure to provide notice required by (b-1) and (c-1) as Class C misdemeanor.
  9. SB 821 (HB 1825).  This bill amends the Texas Family Code to change the definition of school from a primary school to an elementary school and that elementary school includes prekindergarten.
  10. SB 1929.  Amends 155.207 of the Texas Family Code by extending the period from one to ten days for the clerk of the court to send to the proper court the required documents and adds that a certified copy of the order of transfer signed by the transferring court to the list of required documents.  Additionally, it adds that notice shall be given to the judge of the transferee court on the receipt of the documents, items that must be included in the order of transfer, and the authority of the court to which a suit is transferred to either retain an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem appointed by the transferring court or to appoint a new attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem by wither the 10th day after receiving the order of transfer or the date of the first scheduled hearing after the transfer.
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