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Texas family law courts accept digitized signatures for parties and lawyers in certain divorce cases

Effective September 1, 2015, digitized signatures will be accepted on pleadings or orders in proceedings for divorce and protective orders. The new law provides as follows:

"-the-law-and-best-practices-for-compliance-3-728-320x240A digitized signature on an original petition under this title or any other pleading or order in a proceeding under this title satisfies the requirements for and imposes the duties of signatories to pleadings, motions, and other papers identified under Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Senate Bill 813, Texas Family Code section 1.109. A digitized signature is a graphic image of handwritten signature having the same legal force and effect for all purposes as handwritten signatures.

While this law does not extend to suits regarding the parent/child relationship, digitized signatures were applied to SAPCR lawsuits (SAPCR = suit affecting the parent/child relationship) in 2013. Section 102.014 of the Texas Family Code provides for use of digitized signatures on pleadings and orders in suits regarding children under Title 5.

Digital Signatures: The Law and Best Practices for Compliance

The digitized signature must be controlled by the person doing the signing. And, the person signing digitally remains subject to the rules for signing pleadings, including the rules prohibiting pleadings filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment.

For an interesting overview of federal and European Union law on electronic versus digitized signatures head over and look at this slideshare, Digital Signatures: The Law and Best Practices for Compliance.