Kickapoo Tribal Code - Domestic Relationships Code (Family Code)

The Domestic Relationships Code (Chapter 19 of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Tribal Code) covers domestic relationships such as Marriage, Divorce, Custody, Visitation, Child Support, and Paternity. 

Checklist Steps

Under the Domestic Relationships Code, to maintain an action for divorce or annulment, at lease one party to the marriage must:

  • Be an enrolled member of the KTTT; and
  • Have lived within the territorial jurisdiction for at least three months prior to bringing the action.

There is a general 60-day waiting period to finalize the case from the separation or filing of the petition, whichever is less. 

Exception: Where the parties are both non-tribal members and agree to the jurisdiction of the Tribal Court, no waiting period or residency requirement shall apply. However, in each of these cases, the agreed final Decree of Divorce should be filed together with the Petition of Dissolution.

The KTTT is a community property nation. Both spouses share a one-half interest in both the property and debts of the marriage. Upon dissolution of the marriage, all marital property is to be divided equally between spouses.

Note: If either spouse disposes of community property without the permission of the other, the person disposing the property is liable to the other spouse for damages related to the loss of the other spouse’s interest in the asset.

Marital property, or, community property is the property acquired during the marriage. Upon dissolution of the marriage, all marital property is to be divided equally between the spouses.

Conversely, separate property is all other property acquired prior to the marriage, as well as certain property acquired during the marriage. Separate property that is not divisible in a divorce include:

  • Property acquired before the marriage;
  • Property obtained as a result of personal injury; and
  • Property acquired through inheritance.

Spouses have an obligation to confer with one another regarding the acquisition and disposal of marital assets and the incurring of marital debt. 

When one spouse enters into a contract in which the other spouse has no interest, the non-interested spouse is not liable for the debts or obligations of the other spouse solely by reason of marriage to the other spouse. 

When Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Tribal Code does not allow two people to get married in certain situations, this marriage is void, and therefore invalid. Unlike an annulment (discussed further below), in a void marriage, both spouses cannot agree to declare the marriage as valid. 

Under the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Domestic Relationships Code, the following marriages are void and invalid:

  • Marriages between an ancestor and their descendant;
  • Marriages between brothers and sisters, of the the half as well as the whole blood;
  • Marriages between an uncle and his niece or an aunt and her nephew;
  • Marriages between first cousins, whether or not the degree of relationship is legitimate or illegitimate;
  • Marriages between a person who is at the time of the marriage married to another person still living;
  • Marriage if either party is incapable as a result of some cause or mental dysfunction, or legal incapacity to enter into the marital state, and such cause appears to be permanent; and
  • Marriages where the consent of either party to marry was obtained by force or fraud.

Note: Marriages where one person is, at the time of the marriage, married to another person still living may still be considered valid, until ruled otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction, if the party that was previously married:

  • Actually believed in good faith that the prior marriage had been dissolved as a result of divorce, annulment, or custom; or
  • Actually believed in good faith that his or her prior spouse was dead.

A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes:

  • Where the party who is seeking the annulment was under the age of 18 years, and the marriage was contracted without the consent of their parent or guardian, unless that party freely cohabits with the other spouse after attaining the age of 18;
  • Where the former husband or wife of either party was living, and the former marriage was in force at the time of the requested annulment;
  • Where either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming into reason, freely cohabited with the other spouse;
  • Where the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterward, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other spouse; or
  • Where the consent of either party was obtained by force or threat of force, unless such party afterwards freely cohabits with the other spouse.

Sections 19.22-19.30 of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Domestic Relationships Code cover child custody generally. 

The KTTT favors joint conservatorship of the children by their parents. The presumption is that joint conservatorship should be granted. 

If circumstances exist that make joint conservatorship impracticable, the Tribal Court shall determine who should have sole conservatorship based on a totality of the circumstances. 

The Tribal Court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child, and, secondarily, the traditions and customs of the KTTT people. 

When determining the best interests of the child, the Tribal Court shall consider the following factors:

  • The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to visitation privileges;
  • The wishes of the child as to his custodian and as to visitation privileges;
  • The relationship between the child and his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s bests interests;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved; and
  • The Indian heritage of the child and the KTTT’s compelling state interest in the supervision of its children’s upbringing and need for maintenance of its number of members. 

A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:

  • He and the child’s natural mother are or have been married, and the child is born during the marriage, or within three hundred days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment or divorce’
  • Before the child’s birth, he and child’s natural mother have attempted to marry in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born within three hundred days after the termination of cohabitation; or
  • After the child’s birth, he and the child’s natural mother have married or attempted to marry, and he has either (1) acknowledged his paternity; (2) he is named on the child’s birth certificate; or (3) he is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by court order. 

A presumption of paternity may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence.

A suit to determine paternity may be brought by:

  • A child;
  • The child’s natural mother;
  • A man alleging to be the father;
  • A child’s guardian or personal representative;
  • The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; or
  • Any interested party for the purpose of declaring the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship.

The Tribal Court may, upon request, require the child, mother, and any alleged father who has been made a party to submit to blood tests.

Child Support is covered in Domestic Relationships Code Sections 19.47-19.63.

The Tribal Court has continuing jurisdiction to prospectively modify a judgment and order for future education and future support upon showing a substantial change of circumstances.

Child support shall be based on the monthly net resources of the Obligor in the following percentages:

  • 1 child – 20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
  • 2 children – 25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
  • 3 children – 30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
  • 4 Children – 35% of Obligor’s Net Resources
  • 5 Children – 40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
  • 6+ Children – Not less than the amount for 5 children

Where there are support obligations to children in more than one household, the court may determine the child support amount by applying the percentages in the table below to the obligor’s net resources:

 Number of children before the court:1234567
Number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support:        
0 20.00% of Net Resources25.00% of Net Resources30.00% of Net Resources35.00% of Net Resources40.00% of Net Resources40.00% of Net Resources40.00% of Net Resources
1 17.50% of Net Resources22.50% of Net Resources27.38% of Net Resources32.20% of Net Resources37.33% of Net Resources37.71% of Net Resources38.00% of Net Resources
2 16.00% of Net Resources20.63% of Net Resources25.20% of Net Resources30.33% of Net Resources35.43% of Net Resources36.00% of Net Resources36.44% of Net Resources
3 14.75% of Net Resources19.00% of Net Resources24.00% of Net Resources29.00% of Net Resources34.00% of Net Resources34.67% of Net Resources35.20% of Net Resources
4 13.60% of Net Resources18.33% of Net Resources23.14% of Net Resources28.00% of Net Resources32.89% of Net Resources33.60% of Net Resources34.18% of Net Resources
5 13.33% of Net Resources17.86% of Net Resources22.50% of Net Resources27.22% of Net Resources32.00% of Net Resources32.73% of Net Resources33.33% of Net Resources
6 13.14% of Net Resources17.50% of Net Resources22.00% of Net Resources26.60% of Net Resources31.27% of Net Resources32.00% of Net Resources32.62% of Net Resources
7 13.00% of Net Resources17.22% of Net Resources21.60% of Net Resources26.09% of Net Resources30.67% of Net Resources31.38% of Net Resources32.00% of Net Resources

Source URL: https://texaslawhelp.org/checklist/kickapoo-tribal-code-domestic-relationships-code-family-code