Articles Posted in Kaufman County Divorce Lawyer

Why is everyone talking about fault and no-fault divorce lately?

Fault divorces have been in the news lately in Texas because Representative Matt Krause from Fort Worth authored a bill that would get rid of so-called “no-fault” divorces in Texas. Right now, all fifty states allow for a no-fault divorce. Currently under the Texas Family Code a Judge can grant a divorce based on either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. This fault or no-fault option is something that only 17 states and the District of Columbia currently allow. “No-fault” is known by family law attorneys as insupportability, basically there is no proof required to obtain a divorce based on the ground of insupportability. Section 6.001 of the family code simply states, “[o]n the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Most family law attorneys say the majority of divorces that they file are based on insupportability because it speeds up the process and reduces the stress related to divorce for many parties.

According to Representative Krause, the bill in its current draft would not actually get rid of all no-fault divorces. The bill in its current form would only apply to divorces with children or “unilateral” divorces. Basically, if there are no children of the parties seeking the divorce and both parties agree that they want to get divorced this bill would not apply and the ground of insupportability would still be available to obtain a divorce. The idea behind this according to proponents of the bill is to promote stability for children and prevent quick acting divorces. Opponents of the bill worry that this bill would increase the cost of divorce and lead to an increase in domestic violence as a result of parties being unable to easily obtain a divorce.

Getting divorced doesn’t have to be expensive. But if you’ve been through one or looked into getting one, you know that it usually is. Sometimes it’s expensive because attorney’s fees are so high. Other times it’s expensive because the parties involved can’t help but fighting over every little thing. But if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on how to split up your property and/or time with your children, we’ll do our part to keep the attorney’s fees to a minimum.

Guest & Gray, P.C. is now offering flat fees for agreed divorces, and we’re accepting payment plans. Here’s how it works. The base fee for an agreed divorce is $1,800.

There may be additional fees if you require additional documents to be drafted so that an interest in a house or a retirement fund can be transferred. But the base fee covers the things every agreed divorce requires: a petition for divorce, a waiver of service (so a process server doesn’t have to serve the other party) and a final decree of divorce. Again, we can do this on your timeline, so the payment plan can proceed at the pace at which you need it to proceed.

You may be entitled to an expunction if you arrested but never tried in court either because you were never formally charged (this is called a no-bill) or the case was dismissed before trial. In those situations, you are entitled to an expunction if a) you are released without there being a final conviction or court-ordered supervision (aka deferred adjudication), and b) the statute of limitations has expired, the case was dismissed for a specific reason or a waiting period has passed.

The first requirement is fairly simple to understand. You can’t be found guilty, plead guilty, or take deferred adjudication and later be eligible for expunction. The only exception to that is that you can take deferred adjudication for Class C misdemeanors (typically traffic offenses) and be eligible for an expunction.

The second requirement is a bit more complicated. Well, parts of it are. The simple part is if the statute of limitations has expired. If you meet the first requirement and you can no longer be prosecuted for the offense because the statute of limitations has run, you are entitled to an expunction. That’s cut and dry. If you’re wondering if the statute of limitations has run, call our office to set up a consultation to see if you’re eligible for an expunction.

Non-compete Agreements

Kevin and Kathryn Conlin started Solarcraft, a company that designs and manufactures solar power products. They ran the company for just over a decade. In 2005, they sold a controlling interest in the company to Darrell Haun. At that point, the Conlins signed employment agreements with the company. The employment agreements contained non-compete provisions that prohibited the Conlins from engaging in any business that would be competitive with Solarcraft in the United States for three years after their employment was terminated.

Sometime between the signing of those agreements and early 2009, the Conlins stopped working for the company and Haun sued them for violating their non-compete agreements. Prior to the court ruling on Haun’s application for a temporary injunction, the parties signed an “Agreed Temporary Injunction” which contained provisions enjoining both parties from certain behavior. The order stated it would remain in effect until the case went to trial, but the blank in the order to be filled by a trial date was left blank.

Below is the story of a real estate transaction gone wrong.

What Happened?

Almost 20 years ago, Reed agreed to buy about 600 acres from Bill in Kaufman County with Reed making monthly payments for 15 years. Bill later borrowed money from American National Bank, which is primarily located in Kaufman County in Forney. To pay off the loan, Bill assigned the monthly payments to the bank, and Reed began paying the bank. The IRS later had claims against Bill and instructed Reed to pay them. Because Reed was confused on whether payments were owed to the bank or the IRS, he missed at last one payment. As a result, Bill claimed Reed was in default, that the property was forfeited, and Bill sold the property to a third party and paid off the debt owed to the bank.

The stuff that will stay on your record is kind of crazy. If you got into a small altercation with a family member for which you were arrested only to have the charges dropped soon after, this could show up on your record when applying for a job years later. In a case like that where the charges are dropped and the case is dismissed, you may eligible to have your record expunged. If you do what is called pre-trial diversion, you can also get an expunction. Pre-trial diversion is like an off-the-books version of probation. The District Attorney may require you to do certain things and will dismiss the case once you have completed the requirements. But no formal probation is ever ordered or agreed to. If you do agree to probation or deferred adjudication, you can’t get an expunction, but you can get an order of non-disclosure issued.

So what’s the difference between an expunction and an order of non-disclosure? When a judge signs an order for expunction, any agency with record of the arrest and court case must  destroy the record. But when a judge signs an order of non-disclosure, any agency with a record of the arrest and court case is prevented from making the record available to anyone. The effect of an order for expunction and an order for non-disclosure is essentially the same. No one should be able to find out about the record.

If you’d like to know a little more about expunctions, please check out this blog post written by my boss, Robert Guest: Texas Expunctions 101. In that post, Mr. Guest goes into a little more detail about the requirements for getting an expunction and discusses several fact scenarios where an expunction might or might not be attainable.

There are a variety of personal injury claims, and the attorneys at Guest & Gray, P.C. on Forney, Texas have experience handling all types of personal injury claims. Our personal injury attorneys have over 40 combined years of experience in personal injury litigation. Below are a few examples of personal injury claims as well as a few common questions asked in regard to personal injury litigation.  Call (972)564-4644 to set up an initial consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.

Motorcycle riders get a bad rap for recklessness and too often get blamed for the actions of others when a motorcycle accident occurs.

When products we don’t operate properly and cause harm, the manufacturer may have products liability.

Guest & Gray, P.C. is the largest law firm in Kaufman County and has a wealth of experience with personal injury cases. Our personal injury attorneys have more than a combined 40 years of experience litigating personal injury claims. And our personal injury attorneys have secured multiple settlements in excess of $1,000,000. If you or a loved one has been injured, our experience personal injury attorneys would be happy to meet with you during an initial consultation to discuss your case, the options available to you and how we can help. Below are some links to our discussion of some specific types of personal injury claims.

The difference between assault and battery might surprise you, and assault and battery aren’t just criminal matters. A victim of either may have a personal injury claim.

If you’ve been injured in a  bicycle accident, this post will tell you what kind of damages may be available to you.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The debt defense team at Guest & Gray in Forney has helped many clients defend lawsuits brought against them by debt collectors. In 2013, we saved our clients over $150,000 via settlements and dismissals. But there are times when it’s the client that should be bringing the lawsuit against the debt collector and not the other way around.

If you’ve ever had a debt collector after you, you know how aggressive they can be. And that aggression often crosses the line. Thankfully, the law provides consumers some protection from over-aggressive debt collectors. Both Texas law and Federal law have a fair debt collection practices act in place to give consumers the ability to sue these debt collectors when they cross the line.

Credit card companies are the absolute worst. Wait, I take that back. The people that buy debt accounts from credit card companies are the absolute worst. You may have received calls and letters from these third parties debt collectors or the law firms that represent them. The three biggest third party debt collectors are Cach, LLC, Midalnd Funding LLC and LVNV Funding LLC. We have experience dealing with these companies, so if you’ve been called, received a letter or been sued by any of these companies or other third party debt collectors, give us a call to speak with a Forney Debt Defense Attorney.

Our experience defending debt lawsuits.

As mentioned, our firm has a lot of experience defending lawsuits filed by these debt collectors. In the last year alone, we saved our clients a combined $188,170.50 through settlements and dismissals. We currently have many other pending cases in which we’re defending lawsuits filed by these debt collectors.