Your right to VOTE does make a difference in Family Law in Texas.

The right to vote has gone through several manifestations since our founders drafted the United States Constitution. Each state is given broad authority on the issue of its citizen’s right to vote.  And, as we can see with the elections a few weeks ago,  our democracy is still adapting to our rights especially our right to vote for judges, state representatives, and president.

From the beginning of our nation, the U. S. Constitution did not specifically say who could vote. Each state was given authority to define the groups of people who could cast a vote.   The fact is that many states only allowed “white men” to cast a vote. And more specifically, “white men” in some states had to be land owners or in some cases only white men that had taxable incomes had the right to vote. Many jurisdictions limited people’s right to vote only if they were land owners who paid taxes.

In many parts of our country, people were limited to exercise their right to vote by literacy requirements, taxes on voting, and in some cases religious tests in order to disallow portions of our population the right to vote.

And, as we have seen during the 2020 elections, our right to vote has been taken to a point that some of us have to wait in line for 4, 6, and even 8 hours.   Is that what our founders had in mind?   The right to vote is a privilege that we have earned as citizens of this great country.   Our government officials should work to make it easier and safer to exercise our right to vote.

In the past few decades, voting rights reform has significantly expanded the right to vote to almost all groups, both racial and gender, and to the poor. However, even today, most groups have a very low voting rate allowing the minority to rule the majority.

In Texas, conservative groups lobbying our state legislators have made many attempts to curtail and modify Texans’ right to a “no fault divorce” and other family related issues which are common with the majority of Texans. Many legislative attempts have tried to disallow “no fault divorce” in Texas. What does that mean to the majority of Texans who decide to dissolve their problematic marriages?   If conservative, religious groups succeed in changing our divorce laws, people wishing to divorce their spouses may have to climb numerous hurdles before they will be allowed to finalize their divorce.

As a divorce attorney in Dallas, I represent hundreds of husbands and wives who have tried to make their marriages work.   A lot of our family law clients reach a point in their marriages where they wish to pursue an amicable, friendly, and economic dissolution of their marital relationship. That means being able to legally file an uncontested, no-fault divorce which will not require them to go through mandatory counseling dictated by our state legislators.   It also means not having to have a waiting period of months and even years before the parties can continue with their lives. Currently, Texas has a 60 day cooling off period for parties wanting to divorce in Texas. In other states where people have elected conservative representatives, husbands and wives sometimes have to delay their divorce until they have met 6 months to 2 years of wait time before the courts will grant their divorce.

Does my vote really count in the grand scheme?

Yes, your vote and my vote really count in county, state and federal elections. Your vote counts in every level of the election process. We must be informed about the candidates we cast our vote for. Our pursuit of voting rights for all Americans have endured many obstacles and hardships for our population. The consequences of allowing the minority of people to vote will allow the minority to dictate and make laws that the majority will have to abide to.  That is NOT democracy.  That is contrary to what we as Americans stand for.   Vote as if your life depended on it…because it does.