Monday, July 28, 2014

The Attorney General of Texas Uses Volunteers & Interns



If you are looking for a good cause and have some time on your hands, think of volunteering with the Texas Attorney General Office in the Child Support Division.

Volunteers are used in the Texas Attorney General offices and Customer Service Centers to perform a variety of tasks.   Helping resolve issues which affect children's lives or just being that friendly voice on the other end of the line when needed most can make a huge difference.

Internship opportunities are offered as well.

Call 512-460-6338 or visit the AG website. 

Kalish Law Office - Family & Business Law - The Woodlands, Texas 
"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Does your Attorney Mean by "Do you Have Proof?"


Does this sound familiar to you?  You are telling someone a story about something that happened and you can see the skepticism on their face.  Or, they tell you outright, "That's not what I heard". Or, they say, "I'm sure he didn't mean it that way?"

Perception is everything.  What you perceive and recount to another comes from your personal POV (point of view).

Even if several people observe the same event or conversation, their perceptions can differ greatly. That is why attorneys and law enforcement realize that even eyewitness evidence can be unreliable.

If your attorney has asked you for proof of something in your case, she is looking for objective evidence that a thing happened as you report it.

Proof can be any of the following:

  1. Emails showing communication and notice given;
  2. Paper documents;
  3. Photos;
  4. Digital files or posts;
  5. Witnesses (I know, I said they can be unreliable, but having someone other than you who is willing to tell a supporting story, especially under oath can help);
  6. Items, in a property dispute such as landlord/tenant (a leaking roof that can be inspected);
  7. Government records (assumed name certificates, court paperwork, deeds);
  8. The opinion of a professional (a therapists' report or testimony, an estimate from a foundation repair expert, a profit/loss statement prepared by a CPA or bookkeeper).
  9. Proof of Sending (email receipt confirmation, "green cards" or signature confirmation from U.S. mail);
  10. Logs or Journals that you kept at the time of the events. (this is a limited type of proof, but is still useful to help prove your point). 
Keeping records and proof as an event unfolds and keeping it organized can be invaluable to you if you should need it later.  It goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway... make sure you don't violate any laws and don't falsify any information. 


"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can you buy a House While you are Going through a Divorce in Texas?



Can you? Yes.

But should you?  Probably not.  At least not without some preparation.

Here are some things you should know if you are thinking about buying a house before your divorce is final.


  1. Texas is a community property state.  There is not a "legal separation" in Texas.  So, you can't just assume that you are "on your own" and the new home will be your separate property.
  2. When a divorce is filed, you need to know about certain "standing orders" that are in place. This means that the Court automatically puts orders in place that may prevent you from spending community funds on items other than necessities, legal fees,or  community debts. In other words, once the courts are involved, you can't just spend freely without risking the violation of a court order. 
  3. You can negatively impact your portion of the property split.  If you do buy the home, having that awarded to you on "your side of the balance sheet" in the final divorce may mean that you don't get other property that you were counting on.  Whether the funds that you want to use to purchase the home are "separate" or "community" funds can be a complicated issue.
  4. It will involve your spouse legally.  For one thing, a credit check will be performed. For another, the title companies have to follow Texas community property law.   And, don't even think about having one of your friends or relatives purchase it "for you", secretly.  (Hello, contempt of court and fraud!).
  5. It ain't over til its over.   What if you don't get all the property you thought you were going to get in your divorce? What if you get more debt that you expected?  Do you really know what your financial picture will be after the divorce and whether you can afford the new place you chose? 
  6. But... sometimes you can do it.... Seek the advice of your divorce lawyer. Do not decide on your own and inform your lawyer after it is finished.  There are ways to make sure that you are not violating an agreement, and to even get your spouse's cooperation (on this one issue, at least).   Making sure that this purchase is part of a Rule 11 agreement, mediated settlement agreement, temporary orders hearing, contract or letter agreement between the parties will assure that no one cries "foul" later on.  Also, your attorney can tell you if your purchase is likely to have any negative financial impact for you in the property split, or if it may have a negative psychological impact on your soon to be ex. Contact a trusted divorce and family law attorney who will be familiar with your situation and with the Texas family code and property law.  
Kalish Law Office - Family & Business Law - The Woodlands, Texas 
"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Does it Matter Which Spouse Files First for Divorce?



We are often asked whether there is any advantage to being the first one to file in a Texas divorce case.

There are a lot of rumours about this.

Take this quiz to see what you know about this subject:

1. TRUE or FALSE  The person who files first is the one who gets to stay in the marital home.

2. TRUE or FALSE   The person who files first pays the filing fee

3. TRUE or FALSE    The person who files for divorce first is the one who chooses the jurisdiction (state and county) where the divorce will be heard.

4. TRUE or FALSE   The person who files first gets to go first in presenting the case at the hearing or trial.

5. TRUE or FALSE    If you don't file first in the divorce, you won't have any say-so in when the hearings and final trial are set.

Answers: 


1.  FALSE.  There are a lot of factors to determine who gets to stay in the marital home during the divorce and how it will be awarded in the final decree.  Who filed first is not one of the factors considered.

2.  TRUE.  The person who files first pays the filing fee for a new case. However, the other spouse  (Respondent) may choose to file a counterclaim, which will mean paying a fee as well.

3. TRUE in most cases.   The spouse who files first will choose the county in which the case is filed.   There are some cases in which the other spouse can ask for the case to be moved, but these have very specific legal criteria and must be approved by the Courts.

4. TRUE.  This can create a strategic advantage but both sides will still get to tell their stories.

5.  FALSE.  The hearings are set based on the Court's schedule, guidelines and rules of procedure, and agreement/availability of the parties and their attorneys.  Who filed first isn't considered.

Kalish Law Office - Family & Business Law - The Woodlands, Texas 
"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible!