Texas Family Law
George – Spring 2007
50-60 points MC
40-50 points short answer essays
100 points total
Open code (okay to annotate, but no added pages)
§ 1.001. Applicability of Definitions
(a) The definitions in this subchapter
apply to this title.
(b) Except as provided by this subchapter,
the definitions in Chapter 101 apply to terms used
in this title.
(c) If, in another part of this title, a term
defined by this subchapter has a meaning different
from the meaning provided by this subchapter, the
meaning of that other provision prevails (in case of conflict between Title 1 and another title; the more specific statute will always apply).
– FYI: § 1.001 applies to SAPCRS in Title 5
§ 2.202. Persons Authorized to Conduct
Ceremony (amended 2005)
(a) The following persons are authorized
to conduct a marriage ceremony:
(1) a licensed or ordained Christian
minister or priest;
(2) a Jewish rabbi;
(3) a person who is an officer of a
religious organization and who is authorized by
the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;
(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge
of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the
courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and
probate courts, judge of the county courts at law,
judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of
the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of
those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of
the peace, or judge or magistrate of a federal court
of this state.
(b) For the purposes of this section, a
retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice
who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of
Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System
of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at
least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any
type listed in Subsection (a)(4).
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d),
a person commits an offense if the person
knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without
authorization under this section. An offense
under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) A person commits an offense if the
person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony
of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or
of a person who by marrying commits an offense
under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense
under this subsection is a felony of the third
§ 2.205. Discrimination in Conducting
(a) A person authorized to conduct a
marriage ceremony by this subchapter is
prohibited from discriminating on the basis of
race, religion, or national origin against an
applicant who is otherwise competent to be
§ 2.302. Ceremony Conducted by Unauthorized
Person (amended 2005)
The validity of a marriage is not affected
by the lack of authority of the person conducting
the marriage ceremony if:
(1) there was a reasonable appearance of
authority by that person (this is a question of fact); and
(2) at least one party to the marriage
participated in the ceremony in good faith and that
party treats the marriage as valid; and
(3) neither party to the marriage:
(A) is a minor whose marriage is
prohibited by law; or
(B) by marrying commits an offense
under Section 25.01, Penal Code.
§ 2.501. Duty to Support
king, overcrowding. Is this legitimate? Court says the goals are legitimate, but this statute only marginally serves the goals and other statutes on the books already accomplish the goals.
– What else does the court consider? Adverse circumstances of this case: the mother of one of the grandchildren had died, so it’s morally up to the rest of the family to raise that child.
– Moore gives us an overview of how “family” viewed—not limited to the nuclear family; this approach is carried over in Texas homestead law
– TX defines family in terms of homestead… “Family” is a relationship of status and it is not necessary for the family to include both husband and wife; rather, it requires a legal or moral obligation on the head of the family to support the other member or members and there must be a corresponding dependence upon the part of such member or members for such support.
§ Would a divorcee taking care of her mother-in-law be a family? Yes.
§ Would a father who has a son, but does not have custody, be a family? Yes.
§ When it comes to the definition of “family” in Texas, it matters for homestead classification:
– Family homestead = 200 acres
– Urban homestead = 1 acre
– Rural homestead = 100 acres
father w/visitation rights has been considered a “family” for homestead purposes