As recognized family law experts, the attorneys at KoonsFuller often write helpful articles and white papers for peers and the general public alike. Much of that information will be posted here, along with press releases issued by the firm and media coverage of the firm and its attorneys. Check back often.
With April ending, and May’s bills coming due soon, many people are anxiously waiting to receive their stimulus payment. Under the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, passed last... Read More >
Sheltering in place rules and emergency orders from various Courts in Texas have created new challenges for Family Law Attorneys. Procedurally courts are limiting court appearances only to emergencies or matters deemed essential. Substantively orders... Read More >
Times have changed and young couples are now making their commitment to each other with more than an engagement ring…a set of new house keys is now becoming the new norm as well. For unmarried... Read More >
Recently, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed to provide financial assistance. This Act gives the response to the growing health and economic disaster with requirements for paid sick leave, free testing and expanded... Read More >
INSIGHT: Tips for Honing ‘Tele-Advocacy’ Online Skills
by Sally Pretorius and co-author Elizabeth Lippy
Using online tools to communicate with courts and advocate for clients is not that different from doing it in person, say KoonsFuller’s Sally Pretorius and Elizabeth Lippy, founder of Trial Advocacy & Consulting LLC. They... Read More >
Our attorneys are prolific writers in the field of family law. In addition to multiple articles and publications, two widely read books on divorce are available courtesy of KoonsFuller.
Lone Star Divorce
This general book on Texas divorce, co-written by KoonsFuller CEO, Ike Vanden Eykel, covers a wide range of information from property settlements, to child custody, to selecting a lawyer to enforce your decree. The intent of this book is to inform the reader what would be covered in the first few meetings with your divorce attorney.
Protecting Your Assets from a Texas Divorce
Written by KoonsFuller attorneys Ike Vanden Eykel, Rick Robertson, Heather King and Charla Bradshaw, the primary purpose of this book is to help couples protect their assets and emerge from a Texas divorce as financially intact as possible.
To receive your complimentary copy of these books, just fill out the form below.
Divorce and the financial and emotional issues surrounding it can be confusing. To help, we’ve answered many common questions below; however, it’s imperative that you consult with an attorney as to the specifics of your case.
What is the first step in the divorce process?
First, you meet with your attorney. During that meeting, your attorney will discuss the options you have for moving forward with your divorce.
What do I need to bring to my first consultation with an attorney?
Just yourself. If you have access to your most recent financial statements or tax returns, bring those, but it is not necessary. During your consultation, your attorney will let you know what documents are needed and will discuss how and when to retrieve them.
Will my spouse know that I have consulted with an attorney?
When you contact us either by email or telephone for an appointment, your information is kept confidential and is not shared with anyone outside of our office. We do caution spouses if they are concerned about their spouse finding out about their consultation to use a friend or loved one’s phone to contact our office or a secure email.
How do I make an appointment with an attorney? What if I don’t have a specific attorney at the firm in mind?
You can contact us at any of our office locations. If you don’t have a specific attorney in mind, one of the members of our staff can assist you with making an appointment and helping you select an attorney.
Is there a waiting period between when a divorce is filed and when it is final?
Most jurisdictions have a waiting period. In Texas, you must wait 60 days from the time you file until your divorce is final, even if the divorce is uncontested.
Since Texas is a community property state, can you expect a “50/50″ split of assets in a divorce?
Not necessarily. Property in a divorce is divided in a manner that the judge deems “just and right.” In addition, the judge may look at projected future earnings of the parties, who’s at fault for the divorce, and other criteria in making a disproportionate division.
I heard that Texas is not an alimony state. Is this true?
No. The Texas Family Code provides for spousal maintenance to be awarded to a spouse if your facts and circumstances meet the requirements as set forth in the code. Furthermore, you and your spouse may agree to contractual alimony depending on the division of your assets.
Are divorce actions matters for a judge, or can you have a jury hear the case?
Either party in a Texas divorce can ask for and receive a jury trial, a unique feature of Texas law. But as a practical matter, judges hear most divorce-related matters and jury decisions that are binding on the court are limited.
What are the advantages of hiring a board certified family lawyer to handle your divorce?
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was established by the state to recognize attorneys who do most of their work in one area of the law and meet annual requirements including a certain level of continuing legal education.
Attorneys who are not Board Certified in family law can handle divorce-related matters, but most cases involving complex property arrangements or difficult child custody situations have a Board Certified Family Lawyer on one or both sides.
What are my chances of gaining custody of my children?
That depends on the facts of your case. In Texas, instead of “custody,” we use the terms “conservatorship” and “visitation.” Conservatorship involves what rights and duties a parent has, while visitation deals with the parenting time allowed with the children. The presumption in Texas is that both parents will be appointed joint managing conservators of the child. Both parents can be joint managing conservators without having equal visitation time with their child. There are multiple options of how these rights can be awarded and it is important to discuss with your attorney how these can impact you and your children.
Do Judges ever award a 50/50 visitation schedule for children?
Yes, and it is becoming more common these days. Get with an attorney to discuss the likelihood and strategy involved in obtaining 50/50 visitation in your particular case.
Will I have to pay child support?
Depending upon the type of visitation schedule that you receive, you may have to pay child support. Child support is based on your income, how many children are before the Court, and pursuant to what is referred to as the “child support guidelines” in the Texas Family Code. Your attorney can calculate your potential child support obligation and discuss variables that may affect the amount you do (or do not) owe.
If my spouse wants a divorce and I don’t, how can I stop it?
Once a divorce is filed in Texas and one party wants to go through with it, you can’t stop it from happening in the court system. Your only hope is to convince your spouse to consider reconciliation.
Is mediation required in most Texas divorces?
Yes, in most cases the Court will require you to attend mediation prior to attending final trial.
Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce?
No. An attorney can draft the documents in a divorce for both parties to sign, but he or she can’t legally advise more than one of the parties how to proceed in the divorce.
If your case is scheduled to go to court on a certain date, are you guaranteed that it will happen?
No, because multiple cases may be set on the judge’s docket the same day as your case. Another case may be heard before you, and your case may be reset for another day.
If you want to avoid the anger and bitterness that going to court sometimes produces, is there an alternative?
Most divorces are settled out of court by mediation or simply attorney-to-attorney settlement. The newest method of settlement, that completely avoids the courthouse, is collaborative law. Both attorneys and the divorcing parties vow beforehand to do everything possible to reach a settlement. Sessions are private and the process is meant to eliminate the rancor often associated with divorce.
For more answers to frequently asked questions, please visit:
D Magazine’s “Ask the Expert”