Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP

Texas Legislature Substantially Amends Several Family Law Codes in 2016

Protective Orders, Family Violence and Child Support Laws Affected


Dallas, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/21/2016 --The Texas legislature has amended several family law bills; some changes went into effect September 1, 2015 and others went into effect with the new year. The many changes to previous provisions of the Lone Star State family code could dramatically and legally affect family law cases across Texas.

"As one of the largest firms in Texas focused solely on Family Law, we make a point to stay abreast of any legislation that impacts the Family Code," says Jeff Anderson, partner in the Family Law boutique of Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP. "The recently enacted updates are among some of the most profound we have seen in years."

House Bill 1500 amends the family code and now requires those who file a motion for a temporary order for modification of the parent-child relationship to attach an affidavit containing facts that support the allegations that a child's current circumstances significantly impairs the child's emotional development or physical health. And this bill also establishes that it's the court's duty to schedule a hearing when those facts confirm the allegation.

House bill 826 now requires a child support order to contain specific circumstances under which a court may modify a previous child support order.

When it comes to a family violence protective order, the net has widened. House bill 1782, the court now presumes that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future if the respondent has been placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or has been previously convicted of family violence against a child.

Senate bill 206 streamlines agency procedures for the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) with new changes in record keeping, casework documentation and provisions governing procedures in the investigation of reported child exploitation, abuse and neglect. It also sets out new procedures for foster care. Initiated to improve the DFPS, Senate bill 206 now requires the DFPS to develop and implement an annual business plan for its child protective services program.

Keeping in step with technology, Senate Bill 813 establishes that digitized signatures on pleading and orders relating to protective orders, children in relation to family and the marriage relationship now satisfies requirements under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

About Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP
Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP is a nationally prominent family law firm based in Texas. With offices in Dallas, San Antonio, and Frisco they offer legal counsel for people needing child custody, divorce, alimony, and other family law assistance. Call to schedule a consultation with one of their award winning family lawyers today at (214) 273-2400.