El Paso Divorce Courts: What You Need to Know - Part 1

It very well may be that one of the El Paso divorce courts is going to making some of the most important decisions in your life and in the lives of your children. If your divorce is contested, this is most certainly going to be the case.

So, I thought you might like to know a little bit about who and what these courts are. This article also contains some valuable information about how to conduct yourself in court.

El Paso County currently has 3 divorce courts. They are:

  • 65th District Court
  • 383rd District Court
  • 388th District Court

An elected district judge presides over each of these courts.

In addition, each District Court in El Paso has the support of one or more associate courts. The associate judges are employees of El Paso County. While they are not elected judges, they are lawyers who have practiced in the various areas of family law in El Paso. The district judges delegate much of their work to the associate judges, who handle the bulk of the divorce and other family law cases in El Paso.

If a party gets an unfavorable ruling from an associate judge, in most cases, that ruling can be appealed to the district court. However, there are very strict and rather short deadlines for perfecting such an appeal. Appeals before the District Court are called de novo appeals, meaning that it is a fresh trial, from the start. The District Court does not review the work of the associate judge. Instead, the District Court will hear the matter from scratch and make a new ruling.

If there is an appeal from one of the District Courts handling divorces in El Paso, it will be to the Eighth Court of Appeals, which sits in El Paso and has 3 judges. The Eighth Court of Appeals must consider all cases that come before it.

Appeals from the Eighth Court are to the Texas Supreme Court, which sits in Austin and consists of 9 justices. The jurisdiction of divorce cases before the Texas Supreme Court is discretionary, meaning that the Court can choose not to consider your case.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854