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 three years of age. TFC 153.254.

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.