FIERCE COMPASSIONATE LAWYERS
The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

The Path to Your Piece of Mind
Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

WE ARE WORKING!

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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HBO recently concluded its mini-series Big Little Lies, and if your office, circle of friends, or family is anything like mine, the buzz created by the final episode was all you could talk about since it aired. Of course, the talk at our office water fountain circle comes with lots of legalese!


I remember my first day of class in my first year of law school, when Professor Paige told all of us we would never think like “normal” people again–and he was right. I’ve viewed the last thirteen years of my life through a different set of lenses. I now look at every situation considering the legal ramifications. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows us that we did this with the latest episode, called “You Get What You Need.”

 

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen the show, this blog article will spoil some of the plot, so if you do not want that to happen, please stop reading and come back after you view this magnificent mini-series.

 

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Also: one caveat: Although the show takes place in California, I am a Texas attorney and I am only looking at Texas law. I do not make any representation on how California law would handle these situations.

 

Would Jane get child support now that she has found and identified the father of Ziggy?

 

Typically, when a father that has a child support obligation dies before that obligation is fulfilled, then the deceased father’s estate would be liable for the outstanding child support due. Child support is also a priority claim, meaning that it would be paid before the assets of the estate are distributed and before unsecured creditors are paid. This is why there is often a clause written into the child support obligation order, requiring the obligor to keep a life insurance policy in place to cover any outstanding child support at the time of death.

 

The Big Little Lies scenario is a little different though, since Perry had not been identified as Ziggy’s father prior to his death and no existing child support order was in place. (But note that Jane does have some avenues to still try and get some type of support.) 

 

Jane would have to open a suit to establish paternity, brought against Perry’s estate. In other words, the executor named in his will (or the administrator, if there was no will) would be the person on the other side of the lawsuit.  A DNA test would be conducted and if paternity is established, then Jane would have to bring a request for support and ask that it be taxed against the estate.

 

Of course, many fine details could affect this scenario/situation, so I would advise anyone seeking post-death support from a mother or father of their child to seek legal advice tailored to their exact set of facts.

 

Would Ziggy collect anything from Perry’s estate?   

 

That depends on whether or not Perry had a will and what the will said.  If Perry had a will and it specifically named to whom and how his assets were to be distributed, then such distribution would be made. So, if only his present children were listed, then Ziggy would likely not inherit. However, a practice we often use in will drafting for a young couple includes the phrase, “or any child born to me hereafter.” What this usually means is that if a person leaves a portion of their estate to his or her children, this can also include children born after the will is drafted. In the Big Little Lies scenario, Ziggy could then inherit the same as the two sons that Perry had with Celeste.

 

I hope that my discussion above intrigued you as much as it did all of us in our office, and I look forward to future discussions about television and the law– and if you have thoughts on Big Little Lies, share them in the comments!

 

 

 


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