Welcome to the Beveridge Law Firm blog, where we strive to keep you informed about the latest developments in family law. Today, we’re shedding light on a recent change that could impact your family law case, especially if you find yourself in the role of a non-custodial parent. As of September 1, 2023, Texas Family Code underwent significant amendments, introducing Title 6 – Civil Procedure and Discovery Procedures. One notable change revolves around the requirement for parents to provide “disclosures” in certain family law cases. In this blog, we’ll delve into the details of this new rule, offering you insights and guidance.
Understanding the New Rule: Disclosures in Family Law Cases:
If you filed your family law case after September 1, 2023, you’ll be subject to the new rules regarding “disclosures.” Unlike the previous mandatory initial disclosures, where both parties were required to provide specific information, the new system allows a party to request these disclosures. This change aims to offer flexibility while ensuring transparency during the legal process.
The Key Differences: Old vs. New Disclosures:
The most significant departure from the old system is the shift from mandatory initial disclosures to a request-based model. Under the previous rules, parties had to submit detailed financial information within a specified timeframe. With the new system, a party must request these disclosures, and the other party has 30 days before the close of the Discovery Period to respond.
How to Request Disclosures:
As your trusted family law attorney, I recommend serving a formal request for initial disclosures through the e-filing system, adhering to Rule 21a. A timely request, preferably 30 days before the Discovery Period closes, ensures that your legal team has the necessary information to prepare adequately.
What Information Can You Request?
When making a request for initial disclosures, you have the flexibility to seek specific information relevant to your case. This may include:
- Correct names of the parties.
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of potential parties.
- Legal theories and factual bases of the responding party’s claims or defenses.
- Amount and method of calculating economic damages.
- Information related to testifying experts.
- Discoverable settlement agreements.
- Medical records and bills for cases involving physical or mental injury.
- Names and contact information of potential third parties.
Responding to a Request:
If you’ve been served with a request for disclosures, your response time depends on when you were served. A response is due within 50 days if the request is included with the Original Petition. Otherwise, respond within 30 days from the date of the request.
Stay informed, stay empowered. The Beveridge Law Firm is here to guide you through the complexities of family law. If you have questions or need assistance navigating the latest rules, call our office at 281-407-0961 or submit your information here. Your peace of mind matters.
Note: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized guidance, please consult with an attorney.