I Want to Know What My Legal Rights Are

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One of the most common requests I get is to tell a potential client what his/her rights are. Unfortunately, I think that focuses attention in the wrong direction. Instead of trying to find out black and white, clear rules that say “this is all you can get” or “this is what everyone gets”, why not focus on what you would …

When Can a Child Decide Where to Live?

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One of the most frequent searches on the Internet on family law issues is the question: “At what age can the child decide where he/she will live?” As the Oregon Divorce Blog recently stated, that’s a trick question. The answer is that the child can decide at age 18. When the child legally becomes an adult, the court no longer …

A Few Quick Questions — Divorce Deadlines

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There are several issues that have different ending dates in Texas divorces. Here are some that people often wonder about. 1. What is the cut-off date so that anything earned or acquired belongs to just one of the parties? Using some legal terminology, when does the community estate end? Answer: It ends when the divorce decree is signed by the …

I Want an Uncontested Divorce

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I often have prospective clients call and say that they want an uncontested divorce. Most of the time, that means that both husband and wife have agreed that they want to get divorced. When we ask a few other questions about some of the basics of a divorce (custody, child support, who gets the house, how to divide the retirement …

What to Expect in the Tarrant County Family Law Courts

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The Tarrant County Family Law Courts are a frequent subject for internet searches. That makes perfect sense when people face the prospect of having a judge make fundamental decisions about their lives. Everyone wants to know what to expect. This post is to give a brief overview of the Tarrant County divorce courts. Each person about to go to court …

When is a Hearing Not Really a Hearing?

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Answer: Usually, in a family law case, when you go to court in Tarrant County, Texas.When attorneys set a case for court so they can get something in front of a judge, they most often talk about having a “hearing”. In reality, there usually isn’t a hearing. There will almost always be negotiations and conferences. Meetings may occur in the …

“I Want the Meanest Lawyer I Can Get”

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Sometimes I’m asked if I can be mean in a divorce case. Some prospective clients will call or come in and say that they want or need a really mean lawyer because the spouse is really mean or has cheated on them (and deserves punishment) or the spouse has hired a really mean lawyer. I was recently in a divorce …

What Was the Judge’s Reasoning?

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Another question I hear frequently from clients is, “Why did the Judge rule that way?” That seems to have come up quite a bit lately. Usually, the answer is, “I don’t know.” In Texas, and probably all states, a trial court rarely announces reasons for their decisions. People often expect long written opinions explaining the judge’s reasoning, but that usually …

What to Expect at the First Court Hearing

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A common question that clients ask is, “What’s going to happen at the first hearing?” The following are some tips about what to expect. People using the litigation system to resolve marital and family law disputes will generally face at least one or two days in court. The first setting is stressful and is often one of the most important …

What if We Both Don’t Want to Get a Divorce? (But There are Problems if We Stay Together)

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This is another question in my occasional series of questions commonly asked by clients. For a variety of reasons, some people want to stay married but “split the sheets” or take some other actions. Some want to stay officially married because of insurance, inheritance, religious reasons or children or for other purposes. Fortunately, there are several actions couples can take …