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I want to file an answer in a non-family law case.

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I want to file an answer in a non-family law case.

This toolkit tells you how to respond or file an Answer in a Civil Case in Texas, not involving Family Law. 

Note: This toolkit does not apply to Family Law cases, such as divorce, child support, custody, visitation, or modification. To respond to a Family Law Case you can click here to learn how to answer a Family Law Case. 

Need Help?

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

Make sure to use the checklist below for instructions on how to fill out the Answer Form. 

Checklists
Frequently Asked Questions
When filing an Answer to a civil lawsuit in Texas, should I talk to a lawyer?

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

What is an Affirmative Defense?

Affirmative defenses are reasons given by the defendant for why a plaintiff in a case should not win. An affirmative defense can help you win the lawsuit, even if what the plaintiff says is true. In Texas, most affirmative defenses must be asserted by the defendant or they might be given up for good. 

To do more research, look up: Texas Beef Cattle Co. vs. Green, 921 S.W. 2d 203 and Phillips vs. Phillips, 820 S.W.2d 785.

When filing an answer to a Texas Civil case, what should an out of state respondent be aware of?

Talk with a lawyer before filing an Answer, if you 1) do not live in Texas and 2) do not want a Texas court to have the power to make orders that would impose a personal obligation on you.  Such orders could include orders requiring you to pay court costs and lawyer’s fees.  If you file an Answer (or any other pleading) before filing a Special Appearance,you will give up your right to argue that Texas can’t make such orders because you live out-of-state.  Ask a Texas lawyer to help you determine if Texas has “personal jurisdiction” over you.

Does it cost money to file a Civil Answer?

It does not cost anything to file an answer. Filing an answer is FREE.

Research Tips

At your local law library, look for:

  • O'Connor's Texas Civil Practice

  • O'Connors Texas Civil Forms (if needed)

Law Libraries in Texas
TexasLawHelp Legal Research Guide

Responding to a Civil Case in Texas

Click the play button below to watch this useful video.