2005 Texas Family Code CHAPTER 101. DEFINITIONS


FAMILY CODE
TITLE 5. THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP AND THE SUIT AFFECTING THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP
SUBTITLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 101. DEFINITIONS
§ 101.001. APPLICABILITY OF DEFINITIONS. (a) Definitions in this subchapter apply to this title. (b) If, in another part of this title, a term defined by this chapter has a meaning different from the meaning provided by this chapter, the meaning of that other provision prevails. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.0010. ACKNOWLEDGED FATHER. "Acknowledged father" means a man who has established a father-child relationship under Chapter 160. Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, § 2.04, eff. June 14, 2001. § 101.0011. ADMINISTRATIVE WRIT OF WITHHOLDING. "Administrative writ of withholding" means the document issued by the Title IV-D agency or domestic relations office and delivered to an employer directing that earnings be withheld for payment of child support as provided by Chapter 158. Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 199, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. § 101.0015. ALLEGED FATHER. (a) "Alleged father" means a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined. (b) The term does not include: (1) a presumed father; (2) a man whose parental rights have been terminated or declared to not exist; or (3) a male donor. Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, § 2.04, eff. June 14, 2001. § 101.0017. AMICUS ATTORNEY. "Amicus attorney" has the meaning assigned by Section 107.001. Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 172, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. § 101.0018. ATTORNEY AD LITEM. "Attorney ad litem" has the meaning assigned by Section 107.001. Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 172, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. § 101.002. AUTHORIZED AGENCY. "Authorized agency" means a public social agency authorized to care for children, including the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.0021. BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS. "Bureau of vital statistics" means the bureau of vital statistics of the Texas Department of Health. Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. § 101.003. CHILD OR MINOR; ADULT. (a) "Child" or "minor" means a person under 18 years of age who is not and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes. (b) In the context of child support, "child" includes a person over 18 years of age for whom a person may be obligated to pay child support. (c) "Adult" means a person who is not a child. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.004. CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY. "Child support agency" means: (1) the Title IV-D agency; (2) a county or district attorney or any other county officer or county agency that executes a cooperative agreement with the Title IV-D agency to provide child support services under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.) and Chapter 231; or (3) a domestic relations office. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.005. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW OFFICER. "Child support review officer" means an individual designated and trained by a child support agency to conduct reviews under this title. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, § 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. § 101.006. CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES. "Child support services" means administrative or court actions to: (1) establish paternity; (2) establish, modify, or enforce child support or medical support obligations; (3) locate absent parents; or (4) cooperate with other states in these actions and any other action authorized or required under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.) or Chapter 231. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.007. CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. "Clear and convincing evidence" means the measure or degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.008. COURT. "Court" means the district court, juvenile court having the same jurisdiction as a district court, or other court expressly given jurisdiction of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.009. DANGER TO PHYSICAL HEALTH OR SAFETY OF CHILD. "Danger to the physical health or safety of a child" includes exposure of the child to loss or injury that jeopardizes the physical health or safety of the child without regard to whether there has been an actual prior injury to the child. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.010. DISPOSABLE EARNINGS. "Disposable earnings" means the part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amount required by law to be withheld, union dues, nondiscretionary retirement contributions, and medical, hospitalization, and disability insurance coverage for the obligor and the obligor's children. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.011. EARNINGS. "Earnings" means a payment to or due an individual, regardless of source and how denominated. The term includes a periodic or lump-sum payment for: (1) wages, salary, compensation received as an independent contractor, overtime pay, severance pay, commission, bonus, and interest income; (2) payments made under a pension, an annuity, workers' compensation, and a disability or retirement program; and (3) unemployment benefits. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.012. EMPLOYER. "Employer" means a person, corporation, partnership, workers' compensation insurance carrier, governmental entity, the United States, or any other entity that pays or owes earnings to an individual. The term includes, for the purposes of enrolling dependents in a group health insurance plan, a union, trade association, or other similar organization. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, § 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.0125. FAMILY VIOLENCE. "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004. Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. § 101.013. FILED. "Filed" means officially filed with the clerk of the court. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.014. GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. "Governmental entity" means the state, a political subdivision of the state, or an agency of the state. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.0145. GUARDIAN AD LITEM. "Guardian ad litem" has the meaning assigned by Section 107.001. Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 172, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. § 101.015. HEALTH INSURANCE. "Health insurance" means insurance coverage that provides basic health care services, including usual physician services, office visits, hospitalization, and laboratory, X-ray, and emergency services, that may be provided through a health maintenance organization or other private or public organization, other than medical assistance under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. § 101.016. JOINT MANAGING CONSERVATORSHIP. "Joint managing conservatorship" means the sharing of the rights and duties of a parent by two parties, ordinarily the parents, even if the exclusive right to make certain decisions may be awarded to one party. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.0161. JUDICIAL WRIT OF WITHHOLDING. "Judicial writ of withholding" means the document issued by the clerk of a court and delivered to an employer directing that earnings be withheld for payment of child support as provided by Chapter 158. Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.017. LICENSED CHILD PLACING AGENCY. "Licensed child placing agency" means a person, private association, or corporation approved by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services to place children for adoption through a license, certification, or other means. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.018. LOCAL REGISTRY. "Local registry" means a county agency or public entity operated under the authority of a district clerk, county government, juvenile board, juvenile probation office, domestic relations office, or other county agency or public entity that serves a county or a court that has jurisdiction under this title and that: (1) receives child support payments; (2) maintains records of child support payments; (3) distributes child support payments as required by law; and (4) maintains custody of official child support payment records. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 740, § 1, eff. June 17, 2005. § 101.019. MANAGING CONSERVATORSHIP. "Managing conservatorship" means the relationship between a child and a managing conservator appointed by court order. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.020. MEDICAL SUPPORT. "Medical support" means periodic payments or a lump-sum payment made under an order to cover medical expenses, including health insurance coverage, incurred for the benefit of a child. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.0201. NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL WRIT OF WITHHOLDING. "Notice of application for judicial writ of withholding" means the document delivered to an obligor and filed with the court as required by Chapter 158 for the nonjudicial determination of arrears and initiation of withholding. Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.021. OBLIGEE. "Obligee" means a person or entity entitled to receive payments of child support, including an agency of this state or of another jurisdiction to which a person has assigned the person's right to support. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. § 101.022. OBLIGOR. "Obligor" means a person required to make payments under the terms of a support order for a child. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.023. ORDER. "Order" means a final order unless identified as a temporary order or the context clearly requires a different meaning. The term includes a decree and a judgment. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.024. PARENT. (a) "Parent" means the mother, a man presumed to be the father, a man legally determined to be the father, a man who has been adjudicated to be the father by a court of competent jurisdiction, a man who has acknowledged his paternity under applicable law, or an adoptive mother or father. Except as provided by Subsection (b), the term does not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated. (b) For purposes of establishing, determining the terms of, modifying, or enforcing an order, a reference in this title to a parent includes a person ordered to pay child support under Section 154.001(a-1) or to provide medical support for a child. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, § 2.05, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 268, § 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2005. § 101.025. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP. "Parent-child relationship" means the legal relationship between a child and the child's parents as provided by Chapter 160. The term includes the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, § 2.06, eff. June 14, 2001. § 101.026. RENDER. "Render" means the pronouncement by a judge of the court's ruling on a matter. The pronouncement may be made orally in the presence of the court reporter or in writing, including on the court's docket sheet or by a separate written instrument. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.027. PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE. "Parent locator service" means the service established under 42 U.S.C. Section 653. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.028. SCHOOL. "School" means a primary or secondary school in which a child is enrolled or, if the child is not enrolled in a primary or secondary school, the public school district in which the child primarily resides. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.029. STANDARD POSSESSION ORDER. "Standard possession order" means an order that provides a parent with rights of possession of a child in accordance with the terms and conditions of Subchapter F, Chapter 153. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.030. STATE. "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe and a foreign jurisdiction that has established procedures for rendition and enforcement of an order that are substantially similar to the procedures of this title. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.0301. STATE CASE REGISTRY. "State case registry" means the registry established and operated by the Title IV-D agency under 42 U.S.C. Section 654a that has responsibility for maintaining records with respect to child support orders in all Title IV-D cases and in all other cases in which a support order is rendered or modified under this title on or after October 1, 1998. Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.0302. STATE DISBURSEMENT UNIT. "State disbursement unit" means the unit established and operated by the Title IV-D agency under 42 U.S.C. Section 654b that has responsibility for receiving, distributing, maintaining, and furnishing child support payments and records on or after October 1, 1999. Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. § 101.031. SUIT. "Suit" means a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.032. SUIT AFFECTING THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP. (a) "Suit affecting the parent-child relationship" means a suit filed as provided by this title in which the appointment of a managing conservator or a possessory conservator, access to or support of a child, or establishment or termination of the parent-child relationship is requested. (b) The following are not suits affecting the parent-child relationship: (1) a habeas corpus proceeding under Chapter 157; (2) a proceeding filed under Chapter 159 to determine parentage or to establish, enforce, or modify child support, whether this state is acting as the initiating or responding state; and (3) a proceeding under Title 2. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.033. TITLE IV-D AGENCY. "Title IV-D agency" means the state agency designated under Chapter 231 to provide services under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.). Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. § 101.034. TITLE IV-D CASE. "Title IV-D case" means an action in which services are provided by the Title IV-D agency under Part D, Title IV, of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.), relating to the location of an absent parent, determination of parentage, or establishment, modification, or enforcement of a child support or medical support obligation. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. § 101.035. TRIBUNAL. "Tribunal" means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity of a state authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

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