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Legislature Changes Deadlines in Family Court De Novo Hearings Again

Family Law

Part of the 2013 changes to the Texas family code limited the time a party has to appeal from the decision of an associate judge in a family law matter.  The change restored old law which gave families 3 days to appeal the ruling.  The changed to 7 days was more friendly to both attorneys and pro se litigants.  Judicial efficiency it seems was the focus of the 2013 Texas Legislative session vs. government providing its citizens access to the courts.  A judge is allowed to refer certain matters as a right to the their associate judge.  Under certain types of hearings a party may either appeal or object to the referral.  Pretty much all hearings except final trial and certain post-judgment hearings can be referred to the associate judge.  While a final trial a party may object to the referral and the elected judge must hear a final trial.  Judges are people and make mistakes.  To question a judges decision takes about 8 months, if the judge is elected through an appeals process.  If the Judge is hired, then you can question the decision in about 30 days, but you must timely file your request for de novo hearing.  Judges, although tasked with certain authority, many times are just as quick as you to leave work and make it home at the end of day.  Given a change to pass the “buick” almost every judge this attorney has seen will be as quick as they can to refer a case to another.  The logistics of the courtroom should be addressed with either hiring more judges, or making the judges work a 40 hour workweek, not by limiting parties substantive rights or creating more red tape to deny them access to the courts.

To schedule a consultation, call us today at (713) 974-1151 or visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com


Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 11 years and has tried over 100 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.


Michael Busby Jr.

6100 Corporate Dr. Ste 190

Houston, Texas 77036

(713) 974-1151


Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.