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George on Texas Family Law--Precedent & Procedure (2024 ed.)


George on Texas Family Law--Precedent and Procedure
8th Edition
(Pamela E. George)

ISBN 978-1-60503-160-6
Published January 2024
558 pages

Author:  Professor Pamela E. George
              South Texas College of Law--Houston

     The past few years have seen monumental changes emanating from the United States Supreme Court, affecting family law, most importantly, the recognition of same-sex marriage.  These Supreme Court decisions will be considered, primarily in the first chapter of this text.

     Last year, 2023, was also a Texas legislative year.
 As in previous sessions, the Texas legislature was once again given the opportunity to amend the Texas Family Code, so that it would be consistent with the rulings of the United States Supreme Court, especially regarding same-sex marriage.  That is, the legislature could have removed all references to marriage in Texas being between a man and a woman, recognizing that opposite genders are not a requisite for legal marriage.  However, no steps such steps were ever taken.  The bills introduced in the Texas legislature that would have provided consistency and alignment with the decisions of the United States Supreme Court were never reported out of committee.

     Prior to this year, one could only speculate as to the reasons for this legislative inaction.
 However, the emergence of “zombie laws“ following the United States, Supreme Court opinion, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 142 S. Ct. 2228, (2022) made clear the reasons for the legislative inaction.

     The 2023 Texas Family Code is the product of many decades.
  In 1975, the Texas Family Code was little more than a pamphlet consisting of a codification of well accepted common law tenets. Today, the Code is massive, an annotated version exceeds 1,000 pages.  This incredible expansion is evidence that in the nearly four decades since the original codification, the code has never escaped the attention of the legislature during any legislative session.  The 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature proved no different in that it yielded many changes.  Substantive changes of note will be commented upon throughout the text.

     This text, GEORGE ON TEXAS FAMILY LAW, PRECEDENT & PROCEDURE, is intended to be used as a casebook for a 3 hour course in Texas Family Law.  The Texas Family Code which governs almost every aspect of domestic relations practice in Texas serves as a base for this textbook.  Reference to the relevant Family Code sections will precede the cases in each chapter, except for Chapter 1 which encompasses a select group of opinions rendered by the United States Supreme Court each of which involve the family.

     The cases in this text have been selected to provide students with a sampling of the disputes which have arisen under numerous sections of the Texas Family Code, while alerting the students to the fact that any selected statute could be subject to a variety of interpretations.
  This sampling should make clear that the factual circumstances which can give rise to dispute under the code are infinite.  In some instances, such as common law marriage, the cases have been selected so that the students are exposed to the evolution of the law.

     The procedural aspects of a family law case can have as much effect upon the outcome of a matter as do the substantive aspects.
  For this reason, the cases have been edited with some restraint so that they will not be viewed within a vacuum, but rather within a realistic procedural context.  The Notes, Comments, Questions presented throughout the book are designed to spur discussion and to further understanding of the basic concepts presented in the cases.

Chapter I.  Constitutional Concerns in Family Law
Chapter II.  The Marriage Relationship
Chapter III.  Dissolution of the Marriage Relationship
Chapter IV.  Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
Chapter V.  Conservatorship, Possession, Access and Child Support
Chapter VI.  Continuing Jurisdiction & Modification of Conservatorship, Possession, Access, Primary Residence, Rights and Duties Relating to the Child, and Modification of Child Support
Chapter VII.  Termination of Parental Rights
Chapter VIII.  Establishment of the Parent-Child Relationship, Paternity Registry, Assisted Reproduction and Adoption
Chapter IX.  More on Grandparents' Rights
Chapter X.  The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

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