2019 Legislative Session Update – Any Major Changes to Family Law?

Posted on January 6, 2020 by Chris Kirker

Every two years the Texas State Legislature meets to make changes to state law, including to the Texas Family Code. The 2019 Legislative Session concluded with minimal change to the Family Code. Below is a brief summary on some of the most relevant changes for Texas families:

  1. House Bill 3145 amended Section 153.073 of the Texas Family Code and specifically enumerated that the right of a parent to attend school activities includes the right to attend school lunches, performances, and field trips. This change will make attending school activities easier for divorced parents who wish to attend school functions that may fall outside of their arranged custody agreement.
  2. House Bill 555 amended Section 153.132 of the Texas Family Code and conferred the right to manage a child’s passport to the parent appointed as the sole managing conservator. This puts into law what has already been practiced in many courts throughout the state and protects the right of sole managing conservators to make such decisions for their children.
  3. The maximum amount of monthly net income considered for the calculation of child support has changed from $8,550.00 to $9,200.00. This is also referred to as the statutory cap on child support. Child support is calculated based on a percentage of your monthly net resources with the percentage determined by the number of children for whom you are providing support. This change primarily impacts individuals who have monthly net resources greater than $9,200 and means that the government can only apply the percentage to your net resources equaling $9,200 and not any excess amounts, though the court can order additional amounts if necessary. Note: depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, if a child has or children have special educational or medical needs, the Court can go above the statutory guidelines for child support in order to ensure that the child support ordered provides for the best interest of the child(ren).

If you are contemplating divorce and/or have concerns about child custody and child support, contact Kirker | Davis LLP to schedule a meeting with an attorney today.

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