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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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How do judges decide on sole or joint custody in a child custody case?

| Oct 16, 2020 | Child Custody, Judges |

Some clients come to the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance to settle child custody cases, wanting to know if sole custody is possible. The short answer to that is that it is possible, particularly if a case aligns with an element within Section 153 of the Texas Family Code, which provides the backbone for all Texas cases involving children in divorce. But it isn’t necessarily the best thing for your child — as the court sees it.

One important thing to understand about Texas family law is how it defines parenting. One part of the equation is what’s called conservatorship, dealing with who makes decisions for the child. If one parent is awarded that right, it’s called a sole managing conservator, and if more than one parent is, it’s what’s called a joint managing conservator. While this is usually the domain of the child’s two parents, other people or even the Department of Family and Protective Services can be named a conservator.

The other part deals with possession and access, which is often what people think of when they talk about custody. That gets into parenting schedules, when a child lives with one parent vs. the other, and how much time that child stays with each parent. For some parents in child custody cases, spending time with their kids is the primary concern, but both aspects of parental rights are important.

Courts will look for what’s in the best interest of the child — in fact, that’s a phrase that’s baked into the Texas Family Code. And in many cases, the court’s going to call for some form of joint custody in order to help the children maintain relationships with both parents.

However, if there’s a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse, that can be enough for the court to rule in one parent’s favor for sole custody. In fact, the Texas Family Code says, “The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.”

There are provisions within that part of the code that still allow for a parent to have some level of access to the child, but those come with specific requirements (including a battering intervention and prevention program) that the parent needs to meet.

There is also, however, a provision in the code against false reports of child abuse, and how that can be admissible in a custody case should there be evidence of a false report of child abuse.

For parents facing custody cases, it’s good to know what’s realistic but also what’s possible. A consultation with the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance will allow you to share the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action … specifically if you’re dealing with conditions serious enough to warrant trying to get sole custody.

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