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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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How spousal abuse impacts Texas divorces

| Sep 27, 2019 | Divorce, Domestic Violence |

One of the first things to know about spousal abuse is that it’s grounds for divorce in Texas. If you’re someone who is being abused in a marriage, and you want to get out of the marriage, the Texas Family Code allows you to do that.

Chapter 71 specifically defines family violence, which includes “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault,” or a threat that reasonably places a person in fear of that. And in Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code, “cruelty” is among the grounds for divorce listed.

There are other grounds for divorce, such as adultery, where it may be harder to prove that the action took place. Yet, both adultery and cruelty fall under the category of “fault,” and in Texas divorces where this is fault – based on what the Texas Supreme Court has ruled – a judge may divide an estate factoring in that fault.

That could mean, depending on the judge and the situation, a split of 70/30 or 60/40 rather than 50/50. A key 1981 ruling on the issue considered what could have resulted from the continuation of the marriage in dividing the estate. Earning capacities, how much separate property they have, and fault can also factor in.

Another important consideration in these divorces – one we’ve considered before on this blog – is how it impacts spousal maintenance. Though spousal maintenance is generally associated with marriages lasting 10 years or more, it can apply to marriages of any length of time if family violence is involved and the obligor spouse has been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a crime involving family violence during the divorce proceeding or two years prior to filing..

Spousal maintenance, of course, is intended to transition a person from a marriage to self-support, and a judge will always consider the plan a person has to get there in awarding spousal maintenance. But people in marriages with family violence present need to go into their divorces knowing that 10-year threshold doesn’t apply.

With respect to children, judges will typically award joint managing conservator status to each parent in a divorce. It is possible, depending on the level of family violence present in the marriage, to award one parent sole managing conservator status. That’s a big step for a judge to make though, as it brings an unequal distribution of rights and duties along with it. It’s an even bigger leap to deny a parent his or her parental rights. It may be more likely for a parent with a history of family violence to have supervised visitation as opposed to no access at all.

If a person experiencing spousal abuse is contemplating divorce, it should also include a plan that tries to keep everyone involved safe as the divorce process is initiated. At the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, we’ve worked with a number of people who experience family violence, and have helped them put plans in place to help them stay safe. We take these cases very seriously, and we’re committed to helping families get past these dire situations as a fierce but compassionate law firm.

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