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The Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas

Creation. The Family Law Section was created by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors in 1960. It is the third largest section at the present time.

Membership. Membership is voluntary and is open to any licensed attorney in Texas. The Family Law Section currently has about 6,156 members. Membership cards or certificates are not issued to members.

Dues. Dues are $40 annually, payable through the State Bar of Texas offices between May 1 and September 30. Thereafter, dues must be sent to the Section Treasurer. Dues are not prorated for any year in which a member joins the Section.

Governance. The Section operates through the Family Law Council consisting of 5 officers and 25 directors. Adjunct members are appointed by the Chairperson.

Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Section is usually held during the Marriage Dissolution Course in the Spring of each year.

Section Report. The Family Law Section Report is published quarterly and is available electronically to members of the State Bar Family Law Section. Special interim editions are published as needed. Members of the section may download the section report from the password protected area. Live links to cases cited in the Section Report are provided exclusively by Thomson West. For more information, please contact us at info@sbotfam.org.

Annual Report. An annual report of Section activities appears in each July issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

Texas Family Lawyers Essential Toolkit. The Family Lawyer’s Essential Toolkit is provided to each member in April at the end of the membership year. If you renew your membership in June of each year when you pay you regular bar dues, you will receive your membership Toolkit the following April, 10 months after your membership year begins. In other words, as long as you maintain your membership in the section, you will receive a new, updated Toolkit each April.

Texas Family Law Practice Manual. This six volume set is a joint effort of the Family Law Section and the Books and Systems Division of the Professional Development Program, State Bar of Texas. The set sells for $645 and may be purchased through the Sales Desk, State Bar of Texas, P.O. Box 12487, Austin, Texas 78711-2487. The full text of the Texas Family Law Practice Manual on CD-ROM, hyperlinked and word-searchable, is free with the purchase of the manual. The CD-ROM is also available for individual purchase. Automatic supplementation is available.

CLE. The Section regularly co-sponsors the annual Advanced Family Law, New Frontiers in Family Law, Marriage Dissolution Courses, and other courses with the State Bar of Texas.

Legislation. The Section actively sponsors legislation in accordance with the State Bar rules. Early legislative efforts included the Marital Property Reform Act of 1967; Title I, Texas Family Code, 1969; Titles 2 and 3, Texas Family Code, 1973; U.C.C.J.A., 1983; Withholding From Earnings for Child Support, 1985; Constitutional Amendment for Community Property Right of Survivorship, 1987; Titles 2 and 5 recodified, 1995; Title 1 recodified, 1997.

Pro Bono. The Section, through its members, is a leader in the delivery of pro bono services to the poor. It conducts free seminars around the State to educate attorneys on the fundamentals of divorce. The price of admission to the seminar, which qualifies for mandatory CLE credit, is the commitment to handle two family law pro bono matters in the next twelve months.

Supreme Court Liaison. The Section works actively with the Supreme Court of Texas on matters such as child support guidelines, visitation guidelines, rules of civil procedure, rules of evidence and court administration.

Other Bar Related Groups. The Section maintains contact with the American Bar Association – Family Law Section, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to improve practice and standards in family law.

Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Section strongly supports the Texas Plan for Recognition of Board Certified-Family Law attorneys and legal assistants. It also supports improved standards for certification and recertification.

Law Schools. The Section supports the teaching of family law and marital property rights in Texas law schools and appoints law professors as adjunct members to the Family Law Council. It also promotes scholarly writing in the area of family law.