Acronyms in Texas Family Law

There are commonly used acronyms that you want to familiarize yourself with if you are involved in a family law matter. Family law attorneys and Judges use these acronyms in common parlance throughout the course of a family law case. Dialogue among and between Judges, attorneys and mediators can sound like a foreign language to a lay person unless you know to what these acronyms refer.

TFC – refers to the “Texas Family Code.”

JMC – “Joint managing conservator” means the sharing of the rights and duties of a parent by two parties, ordinarily the parents, even if the exclusive right to make certain decisions may be awarded to one party. TFC 101.016 Being named JMC’s is a presumption in Texas, but it is rebuttable (TFC 153.252) which means you can present facts to a Judge as to why a JMC is inappropriate or unworkable (TFC 153.253) According to TFC 153.004 a court may not appoint JMC’s if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual assault in violation of Penal Code section 22.011 or 22.021.

MC – The rights of a “Managing Conservator” are found in TFC 153.132.

PC – A “Possessory Conservator” does NOT have the primary possession of a child, but is the counterpart to a MC. TFC 153.191.

SPO – “Standard Possession Order” means an order that provides a parent with right of possession of a child according to the terms in TFC 153.311 through TFC 153.317. There is a presumption in Texas that possession and access (i.e. visitation) to a child in a family law case should be a SPO. A SPO is a not a presumption in cases where a child is less than 3 years of age. TFC 153.254 When a child is less than 3 years of age, the court must render an order appropriate under the circumstances of possession of a child.

TFPM – Refers to the Texas Family Practice Manual that is, among a broad array of other materials, a commonly used drafting tool containing “boilerplate” or “form” language for a variety of pleadings and orders used by family law attorneys.