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

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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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Can I be compensated in divorce for the housework I do?

| Mar 5, 2021 | Spousal Support |

A recent news story caught our eye that tried to put a value on housework and how much it’s worth. NBC News reported from Hong Kong, looking at a court case from China that’s getting people talking.

The article noted that it was worth about $4 a day.

Specifically, “a Beijing divorce court, a judge ruled this month that a woman should receive 50,000 yuan (about $7,700) for ‘household labor’ following a split from her husband,” according to the report. The ruling is actually the first under a new civil code provision in China that is meant to strengthen personal rights. It’s being depicted as “a cornerstone of President Xi Jinping’s push to reform the country’s legal system as the code seeks to strengthen personal rights.”

“Where one spouse is burdened with additional duties for raising children, looking after the elderly or assisting the other spouse in his/her work, the said spouse has the right to request compensation upon divorce against the other party,” according to the rule.

The article also noted that “although many welcome the legal recognition of domestic duties as progressive, others are critical of the amount awarded to Wang, noting the high cost of living in Beijing — stating the funds would barely cover the salary of a domestic cleaner or nanny in the capital.”

When one person in a marriage decides to be a stay-at-home parent or work part-time rather than full-time, it’s often a principled choice that has to do with the kind of home that couple wants to provide for a child — or it can also reflect the realities of how much child care costs and what makes the most financial sense for the family.

However, when couples in those situations divorce, child support might address the income discrepancy between the divorcing parties to a degree, but maybe not to a degree that each party would perceive as fair — especially when you factor in the hours of work that go into maintaining a household and what that’s worth, as the Chinese court was looking to do.

That’s where spousal support comes in, and it’s a topic we’ve written on from time to time. Though you may know it as “alimony,” it’s actually called spousal support, and it indirectly looks to award value to housework. As we wrote in an earlier blog article, “It’s intended for spouses who didn’t work or were unable to work during a marriage to have support while making a transition to working as a single person.

Spousal maintenance requirements in the Texas Family Code largely depend on how long a couple was married prior to divorce. For couples married 10 to 20 years, the spousal maintenance award may not remain in effect for more than five years; for those married 20 to 30 years, the spousal maintenance award may not remain in effect for more than seven years; for those married 30 years or more, the spousal maintenance award may not remain in effect for more than 10 years. It’s also possible to apply spousal maintenance to marriages less than 10 years if family violence is involved.

But it also depends on circumstances for the divorcing couple — if each person has full-time employment with good salaries, it’s less likely that spousal support will be awarded in a divorce case than if one party was a stay-at-home parent and realistically needs time to transition into the workplace.

We also noted, according to the Texas Family Code, “the maximum amount that can be awarded is the lesser of $5,000 or 20 percent of the contributing spouse’s average monthly gross income – which can, when combined with child support, add up to a substantial portion of the payer’s income.”

But we also noted that a person has a better chance of securing spousal support if there’s a plan mapped out for how that person will use the spousal support — so, someone planning to enroll in a coding course and looking for work in the tech sector following completion of that course likely stands a better chance than a person who has no set plan in place for transitioning to a career.

It’s also worth noting why we said “person” instead of “woman” in the previous paragraph: Because women can be responsible for paying spousal support, something that we’ve also written about in a past blog article.

Even if you’re not technically eligible for spousal support, you may be able to still find some sort of compensation for work you’ve done to keep a household running. It may not be quite what you think it is, though; it might be something worked out in an alternative dispute resolution like collaborative divorce or mediation.

If you have an idea of what you think your housework is worth, and you want to see how your divorce can compensate you fairly, plan an initial consultation with the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance. We can discuss what’s possible, including whether you’re eligible for spousal support, and if not, what might be possible.

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