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I want to use a guide.

Learn how to use a TexasLawHelp guide.

Guide Overview

A guide can help you analyze your legal issue and decide what how to move forward. 

The information and forms in the guides are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation

Research Tips

The legal system can be very complex. This guide can’t answer every question. Researching the laws and regulations governing this type of case is important. For more information on how to conduct this research, read the Legal Research Guide

If you need to dive deeper into your legal matter, you can go to a law library to conduct legal research. There is a directory of public local law libraries at Law Libraries in TexasBrowse the legal research guides from the Texas State Law Library, which serves the legal research needs of the Texas state government and Texas residents. 

Examples of books and guides to look for at a law library:

  • O’Connor's Texas Family Law Handbook
  • Texas Family Law Practice Manual
  • Texas Family Code Annotated
  • Texas Jurisprudence

A law library may also have a subscription to an electronic legal research service such as Westlaw or LexisNexis. 

Instructions & Forms

Review the following to understand a guide's contents and how it might help you with your legal issue. 

Checklist Steps

If you haven't already done it, it is a good idea to write out exactly what you say happened in your situation.

Make sure to include dates and notes about any proof you have. 

As you review the contents of the guide, keep your facts in mind. 

Think about the problem you are facing, and try to answer the questions below:

  • Who do you think is at fault? Or who is on the opposite side of your case?
  • What directly caused the situation you are dealing with?
  • If you could solve your issue, what would your ideal outcome be? What would you be willing to accept?

Try to exactly write out the exact problem you are trying to solve. This should be no more than one paragraph long. 

As you review the contents of the guide, hold the problem in your mind. Writing it down on an index card that you keep nearby while you review the guide may help. 

A good place to start is to review the Frequently Asked Questions in the "Overview" tab of the guide.

The Frequently Asked Questions are bite-sized answers to specific questions visitors to TexasLawHelp may have.

Also, go to the "Articles" tab in any guide. Articles are more comprehensive guides on a specific legal subject. Study the articles.

Then, go to the "Instructions and Forms" tab. Review any forms that may be available. Forms are documents you may be able to use to go to court. Not every guide contains forms.  

  • Review any research tips in the "Overview" tab of a guide. The research tips can provide good information to guide any future legal research you might do. 
  • Also, watch any available videos to get easy-to-understand information presented to you in a different format. 

If you need more help, use the Legal Help Directory to look for a lawyer, free legal aid program, or self-help center in your area.

WARNING: The information and forms in this toolkit are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

Articles in this guide