Description of SB 334

Recodification of Title 1 of the Texas Family Code

Governor Bush sign SB 334 on Thursday, April 17, 1997. Unlike most bills, which become law on September 1, 1997, SB 334 became immediately effective. Thus, Title 1 of the Family Code is now recodified, and 99% of the lawyers and judges don't know it and don't have a copy on their desks.

I have prepared a 54-page Guide to the Recodified Title 1 of the Texas Family Code, consisting of the text of the bill, an old-to-new section conversion table, and a new-to-old section conversion table. The guide is in WordPerfect 6.1 format and is available by email. When you receive it, you can use WordPerfect to print it out. If you want a copy of the guide, please email me at karisch@io.com. (It is too big to send over the mailing list.) It also is available on this web site (via the above link).

Title 1 contains all of the marital property characterization statutes, the marital liability statutes, and the statutes governing marital property agreements.

Section 4 of SB 334 provides: "The change in law made by this Act does not affect a PROCEEDING UNDER THE FAMILY CODE pending on the effective date of this Act. A proceeding pending on the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the proceeding was commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose." Note that pending "proceedings under the Family Code" are still governed by the old law; what about probate proceedings involving Family Code issues, such as characterization of marital property, marital liability, marital property agreements, etc?

Since the changes made by SB 334 are largely non-substantive, the unavailability of the new law may not be that much of a problem. However, the next time I do a marital property agreement, I sure want to have my statutory references correct, and I sure want to see if there were any "housekeeping" changes in language which justify changing my form or my practice.


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Copyright 1997 by Glenn M. Karisch. This page was last revised on May 28, 1997.