Where resources permit, courts should identify cases related to a pending family law case to avoid issuing conflicting orders and make effective use of court resources.
(a) Definition of "related case".
For purposes of this rule, a pending family law case is related to another pending case, or to a case that was dismissed with or without prejudice, or to a case that was disposed of by judgment, if the cases:
(1) Involve the same parties or the parties' minor children;
(2) Are based on issues governed by the Family Code or by the guardianship provisions of the Probate Code; or
(3) Are likely for other reasons to require substantial duplication of judicial resources if heard by different judges.
(b) Confidential information.
Other than forms providing custody and visitation (parenting time) orders to be filed in the family court, where the identification of a related case includes a disclosure of information relating to a juvenile dependency or delinquency matter involving the children of the parties in the pending family law case, the clerk must file that information in the confidential portion of the court file.
(c) Coordination of title IV-D cases.
To the extent possible, courts should coordinate title IV-D (government child support) cases with other related family law matters.
Rule 5.440 adopted effective January 1, 2013.