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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.

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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Parenting Plans for Children from 13-17 Years

| Feb 15, 2019 | Parenting Plans |

This is one in a series of four articles, in a collaboration between Law Office of Lisa A. Vance founder Lisa Vance and Dr. Becky Davenport, founder of the San Antonio-based Institute of Couple and Family Enhancement, looking at parenting plans in divorce decrees from a child’s perspective.

Bexar County’s standing orders – which judges often adopt by default when hearing divorce cases – don’t adequately account for what children need from their parents at different age levels, especially after divorce. We’re addressing four different age groups in order to help parents going through divorce think about what their children need.

Teenagers are obviously more mature and more independent than any of the previous groups of children we’ve talked about, but it’s not necessarily an easier age group.

In parenting teens, there’s a balance that should be sought. On one hand, there’s the combination of structure and guidance that teenagers need as they’re moving toward adulthood. They are still kids though, ultimately, having ongoing needs for bonding and nurturance and connection. There’s the danger of emphasizing one extreme or the other, versus really recognizing the balance between the two.

One co-parenting challenge, similar to what presents itself with three-to-six year olds, is keeping consistency in rules. Sometimes, there’s a dynamic in which one parent focuses on fun and relaxes rules, while the other parent is left to enforce homework and rules and navigating the emotions of puberty. While we might refer to this as a “weekend Disneyland dad,” know that either parent can be the “fun” or the “mean” parent, and the different approaches can manifest regardless of how much time a parent has with his or her children.

Some parents, by contrast, aren’t involved enough to be aware of those nuances – they might not enforce homework deadlines or college application deadlines because they’re not aware when those are or that they even exist.

This is also an age in which puberty becomes an even more pronounced factors in children’s lives, when boys should be asking questions of their fathers and girls should be asking questions of their mothers. When those issues come up, of course, doesn’t always coincide with the calendar and the parenting schedule. So it certainly helps for each parent to have flexibility when a child needs to talk to the other parent.

There is also a provision in the Texas Family Code regarding children making their wishes known about where they want to live, which undergoes a subtle yet important shift.

According to Section 153.009, “In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, the court shall interview in chambers a child 12 years of age or older and may interview in chambers a child under 12 years of age to determine the child’s wishes as to conservatorship or as to the person who shall have the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence.”

It’s best, of course, if parents can make a determination that serves their children best and the children are satisfied with the arrangement. But this is something to be mindful of when determining a parenting plan, especially if it’s a divorce involving older children.

No matter what age your children are, they need their parents to be engaged and aware of what their needs are. Though judges today know that it’s important for both parents to be involved in the lives of their children after divorce, they’re not experts on child development, and they know far less about the children impacted by a divorce than their parents. Therefore, it’s important for parents to be involved and as cooperative as possible in forging a parenting plan – and in doing so, to think about what their children need as they move from phase to phase of their development.

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