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The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

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Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

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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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Spousal Support in cases of disability

| Jan 26, 2018 | Spousal Support |

In my last article, I talked about spousal support and how it is meant to be a temporary source of income for someone transitioning from being a stay-at-home spouse to a newly-divorced person entering the workforce. There’s one important exception to discuss, though-a divorce that involves someone who is disabled and unable to work.

If the court determines a person is permanently unemployable, that person could be eligible to receive lifetime spousal support in a divorce. The burden under the statute is actually not very high. However, that said, a number of judges are disinclined to award spousal support, so a lawyer arguing that a client is permanently unemployable will have to be able to make that case. These cases will likely involve persons eligible for and receiving Social Security, rather than someone who has limited mobility. But this is not the threshold in this determination.

The potential obligee should first be able to demonstrate that there is virtually no job available that can accommodate his or her conditions/limitations. In the age of the Internet, there are many more work from home options than there once were. There may be lucrative part-time positions allowing for a flexible schedule to attend medical appointments or to provide much needed periods of rest or recovery in between shifts. Additionally, if there are fitting job opportunities available in a new field, it may be a good idea to find out what education would be needed to transition to the new field.

The person seeking support should have applied, or be in the process of applying, for disability and will need to have some medical records to verify the claim of being permanently unemployable. These cases can sometimes get into difficult questions of how many good days vs. bad days a person has, how much pain the person experiences, and the possibility of work exacerbating a person’s pain level, conditions, or disability.

It’s important to note that an obligor of spousal maintenance may go back to court to reduce maintenance payments or stop them all together. For instance, a person who is cured of a condition that created the “permanently unemployable” status will no longer be eligible for spousal maintenance. However, spousal maintenance, once awarded, cannot be increased. So, if a person receiving spousal maintenance suddenly is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, and needs to pay those medical costs, increased spousal support is not an option.

With an awareness of outstanding medical costs or medical issues affecting one spouse’s ability to work, the court may address these needs with a division of property favoring the spouse unable to work, in lieu of spousal support. The Murff v. Murff case set out health of the spouses as a factor to be considered in a division of property and may assist in how a division of property can be utilized in these difficult situations.

No matter what side of the divorce you’re on in these cases, it’s vital to know your financial status, and what options are available. The Law Office of Lisa Vance has experience with these very challenging (and often very emotional cases), and we can guide you through both what is realistic and what is possible.

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