Articles Posted in Kaufman County Divorce Lawyer

Terrell Texas Divorce Lawyers

Terrell, Texas, is located in Kaufman County. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to understand the local legal system. Kaufman County has four courts, all of which handle family law cases and hold family law hearings. Kaufman County has only one full-service law firm that is more than just one or two lawyers, and that is Guest and Gray Law Firm. We are the biggest firm in the county. As the county has grown, so have we. We fight and win the toughest cases, but we also know how to help our clients reach amicable solutions when it’s in their best interest. We are ready to help you with a divorce or family law case, and we have the resources to get the best result in your case. 

We understand the community and what it’s like to have a family law case in Kaufman County. When we meet, we will discuss the process and understand the dynamics of your family. We know what it’s like to raise children in Terrell. We have employees with families who live in Terrell. We get it. Terrell is a unique place. Lots of people commute to work and are concerned about their children’s future. Terrell is growing with lots of new opportunities. It’s one of the oldest and largest communities in Kaufman County. Jamie Foxx is from Terrell. We get Terrell.

Texas Divorce Law is changing in 2021. Starting on 1/1/21 there will be new discovery rules that will apply to all family law cases, including child custody and divorce. What does this mean for people starting the process? It means it’s time to get organized. If you are going to meet with a Texas Family Lawyer in 2021 you must have certain documents and information ready from the start.

What’s changed?

Starting in January 1st, 2021 all parties to a divorce will be required to turn over certain documents within 30 days. So as soon as you are served with a divorce or child custody case you will have 30 days to respond, and as soon as you file a divorce case you will have 30 days to turn documents over to the other party.

Courts are working to head off problems with custody orders caused by the Coronavirus.  If you have a custody order you must keep up with these orders, since they apply to you. The most recent order on family cases in Kaufman County is from March 25th.

Standing Order Governing Possession and Access During the Shelter in Place Order of Kaufman County Judge Signed March 24, 2020

For all cases arising from the Family Law Courts of Kaufman County, the Court ORDERS that:

There are lots of things associated with Super Bowl Sunday. Snack food and memorable commercials are two that come to mind. Some other things associated with Super Bowl Sunday might not be such a good idea when it comes to your case that involves family law. This blog is going to discuss five of those things that you may want to keep in mind on Super Bowl Sunday.

  1. Lay off the obnoxious posts on social media. You may think you’re being funny by posting a mildly offensive meme about Tom Brady this Sunday, but as the saying goes, treat everything you put in writing as if it is going to be read aloud in open court. Your best option is to avoid posting at all in order to prevent anything being used against you in your family law case. If you must post, keep it positive and definitely don’t post any pictures that involve alcohol or drugs.
  2. Don’t drink around your kids. Many allegations get thrown around when parents are fighting over their children. One of the more common ones involve accusations of drinking or even doing drugs around kids. This can really hurt your case. Don’t give the other side any more mud to sling at you just because you wanted to let loose on Super Bowl Sunday. Also, it should go without saying, but never drink and drive.

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.

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