I just celebrated another birthday recently. I say another because birthdays seem to come faster at my age. This birthday got me thinking about birthdays in general - their role in life, their significance, their importance to families. We love everyone on their birthday. Think about it. The meanest person you know will find some way to offer you a congratulatory "Happy Birthday" if it happens to be your day. Strangers will wish you a Happy Birthday if someone tells them it is your day. Groups of waiters and waitresses will sing an off-tune chorus of Happy Birthday and present you with a free piece of cake topped with a single candle. Everyone knows the saying and country western song proclaiming that everyone should live their life like they were dying. Well, I say to live your life like every day is your Birthday and make sure you tell everyone it is.
OMG - my lawyer and my spouse's lawyer act like friends - should I worry - or change lawyers? I can't help feeling uncomfortable with their friendliness.
Mediation is meant to resolve disputes between litigants and have proven to be a very successful means to accomplish that purpose. Timing, however, is the key. If held at just the right time then the mediation can produce huge savings in costs, time, and emotion. Scheduled at the wrong time and everyone goes home disappointed, depressed, and their wallets substantially thinner.
No! The first rule is that a Court cannot divide separate property. So, without a lot of complicated footnotes attached, if the property in question was inherited, owned before the marriage, or was the result of personal injuries sustained while married (except for lost earning capacity), then it is 100% yours. The second rule is that a Court of the State of Texas is charged by statute (Texas Family Code §7.001) to order a division of the property in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. That is it. Sound like that is a pretty broad pitching zone for splitting things up? It is, and a Texas appellate court's approval or disapprove of any division is based on a standard of "abuse of discretion." So, your trial judge clearly does not have to divide your property 50/50. Now, over all the years Texas has had appeals courts and divorces, there have been some guiding factors handed down and thrown into the mix to help our black-robed jurists figure out what would be a "just and right" division.
The answer is simple. Prioritize what you want. The issues in any divorce or custody case are not one dimensional. They are multiple. Is it the right to decide where your child will reside the majority of the time? Do you want to be the one in charge of all the major decision-making for your child? Or maybe it is deciding the extracurricular activities in which your child will participate. Is determining what days and time you spend with your child the most important goal you need to have accomplished?
With school being back in session, parents who are separated will have to switch back to a different schedule for visitation with their children. We addressed summer visitation in an earlier blog, so it only fits to go over the basics of visitation when school is in session.
Often times the first setting in a family law case will be a Temporary Orders Hearing. Temporary Orders will obtain present relief from the court. A temporary orders hearing is typically set three to four weeks filing date. At that hearing, the court can order various types of temporary relief for the parties while awaiting a final trial in the case.
Many family law clients ask how long their case will last when they first come to their attorney for a consultation. While a primary concern can be the cost of the litigation, a lengthened proceeding can also wear at a party over the course of time. There is no quick response to this question.