FIERCE COMPASSIONATE LAWYERS
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

 

 

Family Law
Click For More

Rest of Life
Click For More

What Can I Do If My Ex Isn’t Following the Decree?

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

One of the most challenging issues that a divorced couple can face as they’re co-parenting is if one or both parties aren’t following the provisions within the divorce decree. It’s a tricky issue, because the divorce decree is a legal document that aims to cover all the situations that parents might find themselves in. Child support amounts, parenting time, and other stipulations for the parents are spelled out in the decree, and it attempts to give parents guidelines they can follow clearly.

Sometimes, there are legitimate reasons that people can’t follow their decrees. If a parent paying child support loses his or her job, it can make it difficult to pay the full amount. If there’s a sudden winter storm that shuts down the city for a week, as we experienced very recently, it can make it unsafe or even physically impossible to transfer a child from one home to the other.

But other times, people willfully violate their decrees. They might be inconvenienced, they might be trying to prove a point, or they might be operating with the parenting time they’d like to have rather than the parenting time their decree allows them to have. Whatever it might be, it creates a problem that could have one of several legal solutions.

If it’s a child support situation in Texas, know that the state’s Office of the Attorney General has your back. If you’re not being paid the child support your decree says you’re owed, or you’re being paid but not as much as you should, those missing amounts are being tallied and drawing interest. There are a number of actions the state can take, including wage garnishment, to ensure that you’re getting paid what you’re owed, even if it might not happen as soon as you’d like it to.

Conversely, if you owe child support and can’t afford to pay it, due to a loss of job reduction of income, or other circumstances, you’re on the hook for that monthly amount until the decree is changed. You should definitely let the OAG know as soon as you’ve experienced a downturn in income; it’s better to notify them and make them aware of your circumstances — ignoring that you have legally-binding child support obligations will not make them go away.

That said, you can get the decree modified one of two ways. You can go to an OAG office and do a mediation with one of their employees, though that requires that your ex is willing to go along with it. Or, barring that, you can go to court and make your case, though you will have to be able to pay the legal fees enabling you to do that.

As we wrote in a previous article, visitation issues can be settled in court — possibly with make-up time awarded if you feel you were “cheated” out of parenting time. The most direct route to resolution, though, is communicating with your ex to see what you can work out. As we wrote, “Talking with your ex-spouse is the first and easiest course of action, as there may be a misunderstanding about the time of the custody exchange or a valid reason for being unable to attend such as unexpected traffic or work-related obligations.”

As we’ve mentioned before, the decree is there to provide guidelines to follow if you and your ex aren’t able to agree to something on your own. Sometimes, flexibility helps greatly, but trust issues can also get in the way there. Perhaps you agree to a trade your ex requests, and then a few months down the line, your ex refuses a similar trade. Disagreements over “my time” vs. “your time” can be very contentious. After all, if you miss out on something you wanted to do with your child because, for example, your ex didn’t get your child back to you the day the exchange was supposed to happen, it’s hard to get compensation for that. (Especially if what you really want is to be able to turn the clock back!)

If you are involved in a dispute where your ex is not following the decree, though, especially if you’re looking to take the case to court, don’t feel that you have license to also disregard the decree. If you do deviate from the decree at all, make sure you have written documentation like an email exchange to show that you’re both on the same page.

And, of course, keep to the decorum that you’d keep in your standing orders prior to the divorce — don’t speak ill of your ex to your children or lapse into disrespectful or hostile language directly to your ex. You want to make sure you’re not doing or saying anything that can be used against you in a court case.

If your ex is violating the decree and you’re not getting the sort of communication you’re looking for to resolve that directly, check in with the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance to discuss your options. It is possible to modify your decree, but it takes some work and some legal know-how to make that happen.

Request A Consultation

Categories

Archives

FindLaw Network