Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVI)
Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVI)

Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVI)

Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVI)When you have a legal question, it is extremely important that you have an attorney by your side who has the legal and practical experience to answer it. At Nelson Law Group PC, we believe in educating our clients, which is why we added a weekly blog to break down even the most complex and intimidating family law topics into bite-size pieces that are easy to understand.

Below is Vol. XVI of our common family law terms. While not a complete list, what we hope is that some of these words and phrases will become less foreign to you if and when you need us.

If you scroll to the bottom, you can find links to our previous 15 posts on common law terms.


Vol. XVI Terms

Successor Trustee

This is the title given to the person who takes over control of a trust and the distribution of property among beneficiaries as outlined in the trust if and when the initial trustee dies or is unable to uphold his or her responsibilities.

Revocable Living Trust

One of many estate planning documents available to people who want to ensure their family’s needs are protected after they are die. A revocable living trust determines who will get your property and can be changed as often as needed during your lifetime.

Parental Rights

A term used to describe reasonable rights afforded to the legal parents of a child. These can include physical custody, visitation rights, and the ability to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child.


An annulment is recognized as one of three ways (the other two are divorce and death) a marriage can end in Texas. Unlike a divorce, where you are still recognized as having been married previously, an annulment says you are “voiding” the marriage.

Marital Misconduct

Martial misconduct refers to any improper act by one spouse against the other spouse or to the marriage itself. Marital misconduct includes infidelity, bigamy, irreconcilable differences, abandonment, and failure to support, among others.


A summons, also known as a citation, is a court order requiring the person who received it to appear in court, likely because someone has filed a complaint against them in either a civil or criminal case.


While a summons marks the beginning of a court case, a subpoena comes after a case has begun and requires the person who receives it to provide evidence that is considered important to the outcome of the case. You can still receive a subpoena even if you aren’t directly involved in the case.


The final decision made in a civil or criminal court case by a judge.

Motion to Withdraw

A written request to a judge asking that the lawyer assigned to the case be relieved of his or her duties. The request must include the specific reason for withdrawing.

Contested Divorce

A divorce proceeding where separating spouses disagree over one or more issues related to the marriage. Contested cases range from fighting over the most trivial of property to high-stakes decisions such as what is in the best interest of their children.

Uncontested Divorce

Unlike contested divorces, an uncontested divorce is quicker since both parties don’t have anything they want to argue over and don’t hold each other responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.

Right of Survivorship

A surviving spouse’s right to become the owner of all community and separate property after the other spouse dies.

Civil No-Contact Order

A no-contact order is designed to protect the requesting party from unwanted sexual conduct or stalking by someone else (co-worker, stranger, neighbor, etc.).


A term used to describe a sworn statement or testimony (such as from a witness)  during the discovery phase of a trial that may later be used for court purposes.

Summary Judgment

Summary judgments help avoid unnecessary trials by allowing the court to use certain proven facts to reach a verdict on a particular issue without having to go to trial. It is based upon a motion made by one of the parties in a case that contends all necessary factual issues are settled and don’t need to be tried in a court of law.

Here are individual links to our previous 14 terms lists: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, Vol. 6Vol. 7, Vol. 8, Vol. 9, Vol. 10, Vol. 11, Vol. 12, Vol. 13, Vol. 14, Vol. 15. Before filing your case, give us a call. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.



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