The trial court in a Texas family law case has only a limited ability to change its judgment once its plenary power expires. Generally, plenary power lasts for thirty days from the date the final judgment is signed, but it may be extended if the court overrules certain motions or modifies the judgment while it still has plenary power.
In a recent case, a mother challenged the court’s authority to reform the judgment. According to the appeals court’s opinion, she had petitioned for the adjudication of the parentage of her child. Both the mother and the alleged father sought an order adjudicating him to be the child’s father.
The parties reached a partial agreement and went to trial on the remaining issues.