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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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How do parenting time laws work when parents are in different states?

| Feb 12, 2021 | Decree Modification, Parenting Plans |

Because I’ve been working with clients in states that border Texas lately, the issue of how parenting time works for parents in different states has come into focus for me. There are usually two different factors in play when talking about Texas, since it’s such a big state. One is how state laws can differ, though that’s typically not a factor if the current decree is for the state where the child primarily resides. The other is what happens when parents live more than 100 miles apart.

As we wrote in a previous blog article, “The default in the Texas Family Code holds that the non-primary conservator can either opt for the first, third, and fifth weekend or for one (and not more than one) weekend a month of his or her choosing. (In the latter case, it requires 14 days’ written notice from the parent requesting the specific weekend.)

To account for the distance and the potential missed time during the school year, the possessory conservator is allowed to have parenting time with the child for 42 days during the summer, as opposed to the 30 set aside for parents who live 100 miles or less apart. That parent can specify days if he or she doesn’t want the default dates of June 15 to July 27.”

That’s good in theory, but this can be challenging in practice. There’s the planning and driving that’s involved; depending on how far away it is, it can make a good chunk of parenting time spent in a car ride. Some parents opt to do a hotel-based weekend in or near where the child lives, but that can be expensive, and that can also shut out family and friends who live near the parent venturing out to be with his or her kids.

(During the pandemic, of course, there are additional concerns about parenting and how travel might be affected, as well how keeping kids safe might be impacted by the pandemic. A hotel stay might be a good solution for a parent in normal times, but that same parent might deem it too great a risk right now.)

It’s possible for a parent to seek compensation if that parent is bearing more of the travel burden to accommodate parenting time. For example, if the father has to go all the way to the mother’s house to get the child for his parenting time, rather than the parents meeting at some agreed-upon place, the father can appeal to the court for compensation.

The Texas Family Code does look to provide a solution to the parenting time issue we’ve discussed with makeup time in the summer, and it’s certainly possible to try to create more “compensation” for missed time or increased travel time with additional summer time. But when you’re already giving a 42-day block of time to one parent, there’s simply not that much summer time left to award.

Mediation can possibly help deal with these matters, which may actually be better for the parents involved, in that more creative solutions can be arrived at through mediation than in the courtroom. In litigation, judges can only do so much and can only be so creative in what they decide — judges look to the Texas Family Code for guidance in settling disputes.

If you’re looking to resolve a situation like this, or you need to modify a decree to fit better with how you and your ex are now parenting, the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance can help you do that. Whether you need mediation, can craft a new decree with a little guidance, or need to take matters to court, we have the experience and the flexibility to help you out.

This article was written by Byrd Bonner

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