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Founded in 2001, the Texas Family Law Foundation's mission is to improve the family law practice and jurisprudence of the State of Texas.

Message from Foundation President Charlie Hodges

Most of you probably know me as just “Charlie”. I’ve been practicing family law in Dallas since the early 80’s and have been board-certified since 1989. I consider many of you to be my close friends and firmly believe that the Texas Family Law Foundation is essential to not only our practice but the integrity of Texas family law.

The Texas Family Law Foundation is a nonprofit entity created to give Texas family lawyers a strong and unified voice at our state capitol. Since our first legislative session in 2007, we’ve worked to create credibility and strong relationships with legislators and legislative staff. We’re known for honesty, reliability, and steadfast dedication to family law and civil jurisprudence matters that would affect our court system and Texas family law litigants’ right to seek justice and build better lives going forward.

Preparing for Each Legislative Session

The Texas Legislature meets for 140 days every two years during an odd-numbered year. During this two year cycle our lobbyists, Steve and Amy Bresnen, work closely with the Family Law Section’s Legislative Committee on their legislative agenda, which is then submitted to the State Bar for approval. This process provides for an opportunity for family lawyers to thoroughly discuss and vet issues while educating our lobby team on even the most discrete and detailed issues that affect our practice. As you know, family law is mostly state statutory law. This is why the Foundation is so important to the entire family law bar. The Foundation’s purpose is legislative advocacy by protecting and improving our Family Code at the Texas Legislature.

What happens during a Legislative Session

Most importantly, we defeat bad legislation. The Foundation has worked tirelessly to defeat proposals to end no-fault divorce, extend the waiting period for divorce, a presumption in favor of 50/50 custody agreements, a ban on foreign law SAPCR agreements, and so much more.

We also work hard to ensure passage of the Family Law Section’s approved legislative package as the Section itself cannot lobby or advocate on its own behalf. The Foundation has had extraordinary success in doing this thanks to the expertise of so many family lawyers and our lobby team.

Each legislative session, we have members of the Foundation volunteer their time to help the lobby team talk to legislators and legislative staff about legislation. Volunteers will spend close to a week at a time in Austin, on their own dime, researching and producing documents for the lobby team and going to door to door at the Capitol to communicate the Foundation’s position on any given piece of legislation that may affect our practice and Texas families.

Chris Wrampelmeier, a long-time and prized member of the Foundation, manages our bill review process, which consists of over 60 volunteers who read and analyze bills to determine their impact on family law. There are easily around 1,000 bills filed each legislative session which may warrant our attention. Depending on the overall review of a bill, our lobby team and volunteers then work to either improve the bill, advocate for the bill, or politely explain to legislators and staff why the bill cannot be helped and would be harmful to family law practice and families.

We’ve been hugely successful in the past and look forward to more successful legislative sessions. But we cannot do this without your help. Your membership dues are critical to our success as our efforts cost money and require sustainability.

As President, I urge you to join the Foundation, the only group in Texas that represents family lawyers at the Capitol -- “Because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”!


Charlie Hodges