Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 245TH Judicial District Local Rules

As a Houston, Texas divorce and family law attorney I have had the opportunity to help service members through divorce and family law cases. In order to do this, it is important to not only be aware of Texas Family Law but also familiar with the local rules of the court each family law court in Harris County, Texas.

Local Rules

Texas has statewide rules of court that parties an attorneys must follow. In addition to these rules Judges of each court are allowed to adopt procedural regulations which are mandatory upon parties and their lawyers on matters within the jurisdiction of those Courts. These rules are violated or ignored at the peril of the client and his or her counsel.

One good place to look at to start getting familiar with Local Rules is the District Clerks website. https://www.justex.net/LOCALRULES/LOCALRULES.ASPX

In order to assist my client’s and the residents of Harris County I decided to work on a series of blogs that would discuss the local rules of the different family law courts in Harris County.

Thus far I have written blogs on the:

  1. The 246TH Judicial District Court
  2. The 247TH Judicial Court and the
  3. The 257TH Judicial District Court
  4. The 308TH Judicial District Court

This will be my 5TH blog on this topic.

245TH Judicial District Court – Phone: 713-274-1245

  • The Presiding Judge: Roy L. Moore
  • The Associate Judge: James Cooper
  • Address: 201 Caroline, 15th Floor, Houston, TX 77002

Some of the following rules can be found on the 245TH Judicial District Courts website located at https://www.justex.net/Courts/Family/FamilyCourt.aspx?crt=27

Docket Call

Docket Type

Time

Day

Notes

Docket Call

10:00 a.m.

Monday-Friday

Pro Se Cases

10:00 a.m.

Monday-Fridays

Discovery Hearing Docket

(Motion to Compel)

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Friday

All counsel are expected to engage in good faith negotiations. Certificate of conference is required.

Uncontested

8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Monday-Friday

or at any other time if arranged with the court.

Trial Docket

10:00 a.m.

Tuesday

Trials will generally be held on the day scheduled, and if not, during the week scheduled. If the court cannot reach the case that week,

the trial will be reset.

Temporary Orders

10:00 a.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Ancillary Docket

10:00 a.m.

Friday

Motions to withdraw, Summary Judgments, Jurisdiction, Venue

CPS Docket

8:00 a.m.

Monday-Thursday

Enforcement

10:00 a.m.

Thursday

Entries

10:00 a.m.

Fridays

Conflicting Settings

Attorneys are urged to notify the court regarding a conflict. Failure to appear along with a failure to notify the court of the conflict could result in a hearing being passed, reset, or default.

Discovery

  1. All counsel are expected to engage in good faith negotiations. Certificate of conference is required, and the filing attorney must state in detail that they have attempted to obtain such discovery or relief from the opposing counsel by agreement and has been unsuccessful and the basis for the disagreement.
  2. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the motion not being set for a hearing.
  3. The disputed discovery must be attached to the motion or included in the motion.

Exhibit Policy and Procedures

The 245TH District Court also has rules regarding exhibits. My understanding is that these rules were implemented to comply with appellate procedure in case a party should appeal. Those rules include:

  1. All exhibits MUST be marked appropriately: P-1, P-2 or R-1, R-2, etc.
  2. Each party MUST provide the Court and Court Reporter with an Exhibit List prior to hearing or trial commencing.
  3. DO NOT USE letters as Exhibit designations: A, B, etc.
  4. Before any hearing or trial, you MUST have copies of each Exhibit you intend to offer.
  5. The original exhibits upon being admitted will be provided to the Court Reporter and will NOT leave her possession and control once admitted.
  6. You MUST have a copy of the Exhibit for the Judge, each opposing counsel, Amicus or Ad Litem Attorney and Pro Se party.
  7. Attorneys are solely responsible to ensure and keep track of which Exhibits have been offered AND admitted.
  8. At the conclusion of any hearing or trial, all attorneys and Pro Se Litigants shall be required to sign a declaration as provided by the Official Court Reporter that all offered and admitted Exhibits are in her possession.

245TH District Court Standing Order Regarding Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law

The 245Th District Court adopted a standing order for requesting and filing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of law in cases governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 296-299a, following a bench trial. Those rules are as follows:

  1. THIS ORDER DOES NOT APPLY TO FINDINGS OF FACT IN CONTESTED CHILD SUPPORT CASES.
  2. For purposes of this Order, findings of fact and conclusions of law will be referred to collectively as either "findings" or "findings of fact."
  3. Findings of fact may be requested in any case tried in this Court without a jury. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 296.
  4. In cases governed by Rule 296, the party who loses should always request findings of fact. Otherwise, all findings are deemed in favor of the judgment.
  5. The losing party must file an original request entitled "Request for Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law," pursuant to Rule 296, within 20 days after the date the judgment is signed.
  6. Once the losing party makes a proper request for findings of fact, the winning party should prepare, file and serve its proposed findings of fact on or before the 20th day after the date the losing party requested findings. The Court will not prepare proposed findings of fact.
  7. If the Court does not sign findings of fact within 20 days after the original request is filed, the losing party must file a "Notice of Past Due Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" within 30 days after the date it filed its original request. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 297.
  8. In the notice of past due findings of fact, the party must state the date the original request was filed and the date the findings of fact were due. Tex. R. Civ. P. 297.
  9. Once the notice of past due findings of fact is filed, the Court has 40 days after the date the first request was filed to make and file findings of fact. Tex. R. Civ. P. 297.
  10. Once the Court makes findings of fact, either party may ask the Court for additional or amended findings. The request for additional or amended findings of fact must be filed within 10 days after the Court's initial findings of fact are filed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 298.
  11. If either party requests additional or amended findings of fact, the party must submit specific proposed findings. A broad, general request for additional or amended findings is not sufficient.
  12. If either or both parties request specific additional or amended findings of fact, the Court shall make and file any additional or amended findings within 10 days after the date the request for additional or amended findings is filed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 298.
  13. Refusal of the Court to make a proposed finding shall be reviewable on appeal. Tex. R. Civ. P. 299.
  14. Findings of fact shall not be recited in a judgment. Tex. R. Civ. P. 299a.
  15. This Standing Order does not apply in a contested child-support case. Findings of fact in a contested child-support case are governed by Section 154.130 of the Texas Family Code.

Required Orders and Forms for Entry of Final Decree/Orders

The 245Th District Court has a helpful checklist of what documents are required to finalize cases. Those documents include the checklist and as follows:

  1. Divorce - No Children:
    1. Decree
    2. BVS Form
  1. Divorce - With Children:
    1. Decree
    2. Wage Withholding Order (Signed by Submitting Attorney or Party)
    3. Medical Support Order (Signed by Submitting Attorney or Party)
    4. BVS (Completed)
    5. Child Support Information Form (Completed)
    6. TFC §105.006 Information Form (Completed)
  1. SAPCR:
    1. Decree
    2. Wage Withholding Order (Signed by Submitting Attorney or Party)
    3. Medical Support Order (Signed by Submitting Attorney or Party)
    4. BVS (Completed)
    5. Child Support Information Form (Completed)
    6. TFC §105.006 Information Form (Completed)

If you are asking the court to finalize your case by default in addition to the above documents the court will also require:

  1. Court Reporter Information Form
  2. Certificate of Last Known Address
  3. Servicemember Civil Relief Act Affidavit (U.S.C.A. Title 50 App. §521)

Temporary Orders

Temporary Orders Hearings are heard on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. It is important to note that temporary orders on modification require a supporting affidavit and approval before a hearing is set.

Mediation Requirement

Mediation provides the opportunity to reach an agreement in a cooperative environment in which the parties determine the outcome of their case. Parties are generally better served when disputes are resolved amicably.

  1. Mediation prior to a temporary orders – Required in all cases absent a Motion and Order Waiving same.
  2. Mediation prior to final trial – Required in all cases absent a Motion and Order Waiving same.

Name Changes

Daily on the Uncontested Docket.

Parenting Courses

Recommended and encouraged but not required.

Pre-Trials

Set by Judges as required

Scheduling Orders / Trial Dates

Scheduling orders are issued three months after filing or as requested Post-Answer. Trial dates are automatically generated by the court coordinator.

Dismissals With Out Prejudice (DWOP)

Four to five months if no Answer, Waiver, or Service

Child Interviews – Cases Involving Children’s Preferences

Per the Tex. Fam. Code; Interviews conducted at the conclusion of testimony.

Preferential Settings

Set by coordinator with approval by Judges based on calendar availability.

Motions for Continuance

  1. First Trial setting, if agreed may by Rule 11;
  2. all others by Judge. Motion required to be filed two weeks out.

Approval of Decrees with Variances from Standard Possession Order or Variances from Statutory Guidelines for Child Support when a case is a “waiver or default Divorce”

The Court follows the presumptions in the Family Code unless rebutted by credible evidence.

Amicus Appointments / Guardians / Ad Litem

By agreement or by Judge

Parenting Coordinators

Not required.

Not Filing and an Inventory Prior to Trial

The case be likely to proceed to trial and the Court will possibly not allow that party to put on evidence as to property value or character.

Social Studies

Social studies are required in all adoptions, and commonly when the case is not ripe for the appointment of an amicus and an investigation is necessary.

Ebook

If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce

If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!

Other Articles you may be interested on regarding Houston Court Local Rules:

  1. 247TH Judicial District Local Rules
  2. 246TH Judicial District Local Rules
  3. Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 257TH Judicial District Local Rules
  4. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  5. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  6. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  7. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  8. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
  9. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

Comments

No Comments Posted
  • Divorce 101

    Learn the basics of the divorce process with our comprehensive divorce resource center.

    Get Started
  • Child Support 101

    Read more about child support with some of our helpful resources.

    Get Started
  • Custody 101

    Learn more about child custody and how we can help.

    Get Started
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Our blog features a wealth of knowledge pertaining to some of the most frequently asked family law questions.

    Read More

Contact Us

Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Spring Divorce Attorney
Located at: 3707 Farm to Market 1960 W.,
Suite 400,

Houston, TX 77068
View Map
Phone: (281) 810-9760
Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 AM – 6 PM
Saturday- By Appointment Only
Website: https://www.bryanfagan.com/
© 2018 All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.