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The Unofficial Parents' Guide to the Dallas County Family Court System (Revised)

The official Parent's Guide to the Dallas County Family Court System is a copyrighted work by the Dallas Bar Association's Family Law Section and which is currently under revision and may eventually be posted on the Dallas Bar Association's Website, as well as distributed in pamplet form at Family Court Services..This guide is intended to be as comprehensive as possible to help familiarize you with the process of how family law matters are handled. This Guide also contains articles and information not available either in the official guide or anywhere else. The information contained herein is not legal advice on any particular situation. Individuals and organizations are permitted to reprint this Guide for noncommercial use so long as attribution is made to Raggio & Raggio, P.L.L.C.

 

A comprehensive Guide by the Texas Young Lawyers Association called "What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court" is available from www.tyla.org/

 

DIRECTORY OF FAMILY AND JUVENILE COURTS

  • George C. Allen, Sr. Courts Building (formerly the Dallas County Government Center)
    600 Commerce
    Dallas, Texas 75202-4606
  • All the family courts in Dallas County are located in the white courthouse at the corner of Houston and Commerce. It is across the street fromthe stately Old Red Courthouse. There is parking underground entering from the west side on Commerce, which is 1-way eastbound. So you have to come in from Stemmons on Commerce, or southbound on Houston (1-way southbound) to get access to the Commerce entrance to the parking lot.   There is also an entrance from the lEFT LANE GOING WEST on Elm Street.  The underground lot may be filled some days, and there is street level parking surrounding the courthouse. Don't confuse this courthouse with the similarly looking Federal courthouse that is at the corner of Commerce and Griffin Streets, a few blocks further east.

FAMILY COURTS:

Effective as of 1-1-2010.

 

COURT JUDGE               ASSOCIATE JUDGE       COURT PHONE        FLOOR

 

254TH  James Martin              John Turner                                   653-6136                          3/4

255TH  Lori Hockett                 Andrew Ten Eyck                      653-6159                         4/3

256TH  David Lopez                 Gracie Olvera                              653-6449                         4/4

301ST  Lynn Cherry                  Scott Beauchamp                    653-7385                         3/4

302ND Tena Callahan             Christine Collie                           653-7375                         4/4

303RD Dennise Garcia           Mary Brown                                  653-7611                         4/4

330TH Andrea Plumlee          Johnese White                            653-7207                         3/3

 

NOTE: The Court's locations changed when the new Courthouse addition opened in 2006. The 254th, 301st and 330th are on the third floor; 255th, 256th, 302nd, and 303rd are on the 4th floor. Family Court Services is on the second floor of the new tower. Most Associate Judges are now on the 4th floor. The child support IV-D courts are on the 3rd floor.

 

JUVENILE COURTS:

 

COURT                    JUDGE                 REFEREE                  PHONE

304TH                              Bill Mazur                                                                   698-4330

305TH                              Gracie Lewis                                                           698-4330

 

The Juvenile Courts are located on the 3rd Floor of the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center, 2600 Lone Star Boulevard, Dallas, Texas.

 

SUPPORT SERVICES OFFICES:

 

Child Support Office, 1st floor 

Dallas County Government Center 

600 Commerce Street, Seventh Floor 

Dallas, Texas 75202-4606 

653-7167 

Is the "gatekeeper" for most child support payments, even though all payments must now go through San Antonio.


District Clerk - Family Division, 1st floor 

Dallas County Government Center 

600 Commerce Street, Seventh Floor 

Dallas, Texas 75202-4606 

653-7786 

Where all Family Law cases papers are filed.


Family Court Services, 2nd floor 

Dallas County Government Center 

600 Commerce Street, Second Floor 

Dallas, Texas 75202-4606 

653-7674 

Conducts social studies in custody cases and also does mediation to help resolve custody cases. They regularly show the award-winning Dallas-produced videotape Don't Forget the Children. See Using Family Court Services for Mediations and Social Studies.

TEXAS LAW - The basics of Texas law about divorce, custody, and child support explained and summarized:

 

For those who may see a "printed" version of this Webpage, the following articles--plus others--are available at http://www.raggiolaw.com/famlawarticle.htm.

 

FREE OR REDUCED FEE FAMILY LAW ADVICE, for those who seek a cheap divorce laywer in Dallas.

 

LEGALINE - sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association on the second and third Wednesdays of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Lawyers are available at (214) 220-7476 to answer legal questions. Sometimes they even specialize in the areas to be covered; check at http://www.dallasbar.com/

 

Dallas Bar Lawyer Referral Service - (214) 979-9090. This service of the Dallas Bar Association makes referrals to attorneys on a family law case on a reduced fee basis for the initial consultation. The initial half-hour consultation costs $20.

 

Legal Services of North Texas - (214) 748-1234 Provides free legal services to low-income persons in a variety of fields, principally public entitlements, residential tenancies, consumer and employment matters and family law. Also conducts evening clinics for low-income applicants.

 

SMU Civil Legal Clinic (214) 692-2562. Holds clinics to assist low-income persons in need of help with consumer fraud, legal problems of the elderly, landlord/tenant matters and public utilities disputes.

 

SMU Tax Clinic (214) 692-3462, 3463. Handles cases relating to tax matters for individuals and small businesses.

 

Protective Orders Division, Dallas DA's office. This division of the office of the District Attorney of Dallas County obtains protective orders in family violence cases. (214) 653-3600

 

Attorney General Child Support Division. See Business white pages under government offices for the location nearest you.

 

OTHER FAMILY LAW RESOURCES:

 

The Family Place (214) 941-1991. Counseling and shelter for battered women and their children. The 24-hour hotline provides advice on family violence. There are 2 counseling centers: 1) North Dallas, (972) 234-4743, counsels men and women, and 2) Oak Lawn, (214) 559-4880, counsels women and children.

 

Dispute Mediation Services of Dallas (214) 754-0022. Mediates a wide variety of disputes in non-criminal matters, including those involving residential tenancies and domestic relations. Also will mediate family law cases where combined family income is less than $50,000 and the combined liquid assets of the family are less than $50,000. The cost for this service is very low cost. Must have a Court Order to conduct the mediation in a family law case.

 

Women's Advocacy Project 1-800-777-FAIR. Maintains a statewide, toll-free hotline for women with legal problems relating to family violence or abuse.

 

Women's Resource Center of the YWCA (214) 821-9595. Conducts bi-monthly evening clinics providing consultation services for persons with non-criminal legal problems involving family law, bankruptcy, etc.

 

Child Guidance Clinic (214) 351-3490, ext 3432. Provides a variety of services including psychological testing, case management, individual, family and play therapy, and Dallas OK (Our Kids), a divorce education program for parents and children. Services are provided by an interdisciplinary professional staff of professionals from a variety of related disciplines. Services are provided at six locations throughout Dallas, Collin and Rockwall counties.

 

For Kid's Sake (214) 526-4525. Focuses on issues such as understanding the effects of divorce on children, gaining insight into children's perceptions of divorce, talking to children about family changes, how to avoid placing children in the middle of parental issues, and maintaining a meaningful and loving relationship with children.

 

Families First Seminar - EXCAP (Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of D.W.S., Inc.)214-370-9810. Four-hour educational course focusing on divorce and its impact on children. Concurrent four-hour sessions available for children of parents attending the program.

 

Families First - Channel 8 has published a 48-page handbook with phone numbers and information about 510 non-profit organizations which provide services to people in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

 

See also the Texas Resources page at www.Divorcenet.com, and the Texas Resources listed through the Home Page.

 

Partners High School Divorce Prevention Course. This award-winning program, developed by the American Bar Association Family Law Section, strives to equip teenagers with the skills to get into the right marriage and stay there. The Course has videotape dialog-starters (teenagers in scenes very close to all teenagers' lives) and other materials. 

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