Texas Family Law Changes Effective 2021

Family Law

In August of 2020, the Supreme Court of Texas approved amendments to Rules under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that impact divorce and family law cases in the state. These amendments will become effective on January 1, 2021 and will generally apply to cases filed after that.

These changes in Texas law apply to the matter of Initial Disclosures under the Family Code.

These changes state that “in a suit for divorce or annulment, a party must, without awaiting a discovery request,” provide certain documents of disclosure to the other party. Discovery refers to the procedure where the two opposing sides of a lawsuit exchange information concerning the evidence, witnesses, and documentation they will present to the court during an upcoming trial. This information can then be used by both sides in the preparation of its case.

The documentation that must be disclosed in divorce and annulment cases includes copies of:

  • Any and all documents pertaining to one’s real estate;
  • Any and all documents pertaining to one’s pensions, retirement, profit-sharing, or other employee benefit plans, including the most recent account statement for any plan;
  • Any and all documents pertaining to one’s life, casualty, liability, and health insurance;
  • The most recent statement pertaining to one’s accounts at a financial institution; these include banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and brokerage firms.

The documentation that must be disclosed in any child or spousal support issue (which must be provided without waiting for a discovery request) includes copies of:

  • All policies, statements, and summary description of benefits for any medical and health insurance coverage that is or would be available for the child or the spouse;
  • The party’s income tax returns for the previous two years or, if no return has been filed, the party’s W-2 Form, 1099 Form, and Schedule K-1 for such years and;
  • The party’s two most recent payroll check stubs.

Having both sides provide and receive the above documentation without the necessity of a formal request through the discovery process should help to streamline these kind of family law cases through the courts. Streamlining the process should result in a more cost-effective, efficient, and timely process.

Have Questions or Concerns? Call The Law Office of Nancy Perry Eaton, PLLC

If you need legal guidance with understanding or implementing any of the above new rules or with any other family law issue, turn to our firm. Nancy Perry Eaton has been in practice in Texas since 1992, devoting her legal acumen and outstanding level of service to clients in and around the greater Killeen area in family law and estate planning. If you want to work with an attorney who genuinely cares about you, your case, and how it will affect your future, call us today.

Contact us at (254) 221-8588 to set up a consultation about your legal needs.

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