If you’re a Texas resident facing a family law issue, knowing the different types of family law cases can help you navigate the legal system more effectively.
Take a look at our list covering the various cases you may encounter in family court so you know what to expect during the legal process.
Know These Types of Family Law Cases
Here’s a basic overview of 15 types of cases handled by the Texas family court system.
Divorce, or the dissolution of a marriage, ends the legal partnership between two people and determines the rights, duties, and obligations of each spouse going forward. If there are minor children involved in the divorce, your case will fall under this category.
This category also includes cases involving the parent-child relationship when the parents are actively going through a divorce or have a previously resolved divorce case.
2. Divorce—No Children
Similar to a divorce with children, this category pertains to a dissolution of marriage without minor children involved in the proceedings.
There’s a separate category for this type of divorce because a divorce without children is often more straightforward than a divorce with children. This type of case and the above-listed divorce category also include petitions for annulment and petitions to void a marriage.
3. Parent-Child—No Divorce
This type of case may occur when there’s an issue involving the parent-child relationship. This includes situations involving custody, child support, paternity, and visitation rights. A case will only fall under this category when there isn’t a previous or current divorce case.
4. Child Protective Services
Child Protective Services (CPS) is a state agency that investigates reports of child abuse or neglect and provides services to troubled families to protect children’s well-being.
A legal matter involving CPS may be initiated if there’s a pending investigation or if CPS wants the court to make a determination about the status of a child who is at risk of abuse or neglect.
5. Termination of Parental Rights
In certain cases, the court may terminate the legal relationship between a parent and their child. This type of case is typically initiated by the state, or it could be created by a parent seeking to voluntarily give up their rights.
Adoption is the process of legally creating a parent-child relationship between people who don’t have that biological relationship. Cases falling under this category may involve the adoption of a stepchild, the adoption of an unrelated minor, or even gestation agreements for surrogacy.
7. Protective Orders—No Divorce
A protective order can be issued by the court to protect individuals from physical, emotional, or psychological harm. A person can formally request a protective order to protect themselves from domestic abuse or family violence.
A case will fall under this category when the parties at hand don’t have a current or previous divorce case, which may include individuals in dating relationships, family members, or roommates.
8. Title IV-D—Paternity
The Title IV-D program is a federal and state program that provides assistance for families in establishing paternity, collecting child support, and providing various other services. In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for administering this program.
A case may be initiated when the Attorney General’s office requests a determination of parentage and a subsequent child support order. It may also include a legal matter involving a paternity-related custody or visitation matter.
9. Title IV-D—Support Order
This category is similar to Title IV-D—Paternity. The only difference is that it involves cases where the child’s parentage has already been established.
10. Title IV-D—Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) governs how interstate child support cases are handled. A family law matter involving UIFSA generally seeks to establish a child support order when one or more parties live outside Texas.
11. Post-Judgment Modification—Custody
A post-judgment modification is a type of case that helps modify an existing court order. A custody-related post-judgment modification involves decisions about who a child lives with and who has the authority and responsibility to care for them.
12. Post-Judgment Modification—Other
This type of post-judgment modification encompasses all other types of issues that may arise in a family law case. This includes visitation modifications, child support modifications, and spousal maintenance modifications.
13. Post-Judgment Enforcement
A legal proceeding involving a post-judgment enforcement aims to enforce the provisions of an existing court order. This category may include enforcement of child support, child custody/visitation, spousal maintenance, or divorce/annulment terms.
14. Post-Judgment Title IV-D
Any cases initiated by the Office of the Attorney General regarding the enforcement or modification of a child support order fall under this category.
15. All Other Family Cases
This is a broad category that includes the following types of cases in family court:
- Name changes
- Adult adoptions
- Removal of disability of minority
- Suits for parental liability for interference with child custody
Contact Our Texas Family Law Attorneys for More Information
If you have questions about which type of case pertains to your family law situation, our experienced Texas family law attorneys can provide guidance. From there, we can help you file the proper paperwork, issue a notice to the other involved party, and navigate the legal system with you.
The family law attorneys at Parker & Aguilar have experience handling a wide range of Texas family law cases, including child custody (permanent and temporary custody), child support, divorce, adoption, and more.
We currently support clients in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Matagorda County. If you live in one of these counties in South Texas, contact us to discuss the types of family law cases that pertain to your situation.
You can reach us at 979-267-7660 (Angleton office) or 281-944-5485 (Sugar Land office) to ask questions and get started on your case. We look forward to helping you and your family.