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 is voluntary and is open to any licensed attorney in Texas. The Family Law Section currently has about 6,098 members. Membership cards or certificates are not issued to members.
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.
The section operates through the Family Law Council consisting of 5 officers and 25 directors. The Immediate Past Chair, Board of Advisors, and Liaisons are non-voting Council members.
Texas Family Lawyers Essential Toolkit
The Family Lawyer’s Essential Toolkit is provided to each member in April/May at the end of the membership year. If you renew your membership in June of each year when you pay your 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Family Law Practice Manual
This seven-volume set is a joint effort of the Family Law Section and the TexasBarBooks department of the Professional Development Program, State Bar of Texas. The set may be purchased at http://texasbarbooks.net/books/texas-family-law-practice-manual/. Digital download and online subscription versions are also available, as is automatic supplementation.
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.
Law and Policy
The Section has an active Committee that routinely reviews and analyzes statutes and proposed legislation that affects the Texas Family Code and Texas family lawyers. Prior to 2021, 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.
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 re-certification.
The annual meeting of the Section is usually held during the Marriage Dissolution Course in the Spring of each year.
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.