In Texas, when you file for divorce, you have to ensure that you meet the residency requirements. There are two requirements for filing a divorce in Texas. Prior to filing for divorce in Texas, one party must have lived in Texas for at least six months and 90 days in the county in question.

NOTE: Just because Harris or Fort Bend county accepts jurisdiction for the divorce, it doesn’t mean that it has jurisdiction over a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) and in some cases it may not have the power to divide marital property.

Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.
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It is always in a party’s best interest to respond to discovery. This is for two main reasons. First off, it can hurt your ability to put on evidence at trial. Under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, failure to timely respond to discovery may prevent a party from being able to admit evidence at trial. If you plan on using witnesses at your trial and they are not timely disclosed during discovery process they may not be able to testify on your behalf. Evidence can be of the utmost important during a legal dispute, responding to discovery ensures evidence important to your case can be heard at trial.

The second reason it is important to respond to discovery is that the court may take action against a nonresponsive party. A court may grant the opposing party’s motion to compel discovery and attorneys fees, which does not help your case in the eyes of the court. If a party again fails to respond to discovery after a motion to compel is granted, the court may impose sanctions. For those reasons it is very important to respond to discovery in a timely manner and to the best of your abilities.

Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.

MUST READ: See Pitfalls of using the SAFE Program

The SAFE Program For Supervised Visitation In Texas
The SAFE program is a service of the Victim Assistance Centre (VAC) for supervised visitation in Texas. VAC is a non-profit organization operating in the Houston area. The SAFE program provides a neutral setting for parents to visit with their children while being monitored by staff members.

The SAFE Program is usually court-ordered in situations where there have been allegations of physical or emotional abuse, drug use or other problems. The goal of SAFE is to provide a stress-free environment for children to visit with a parent.

Benefits Of SAFE Supervised Visitation In Texas

A benefit of SAFE is that there is no interaction between the parents and the entire time a parent spends with their child is devoted to fun and positive interaction. SAFE enables parents to establish a good visitation history with their children, which can be reported to the court through unbiased reports. These reports contain information taken from staff members’ observations during the visits. SAFE makes no recommendations to the court and has no control over the length of time parents participate in the program.

There are several SAFE Program locations throughout Harris County. There is an enrollment fee of $75 and the visiting parent is responsible for the $60 per visitation fee.

Critical Tip : Consult an attorney before accepting SAFE as your visitation and access program.

Pitfalls Of Using The Safe Program For Supervised Visitation In Texas

  • SAFE program staff are not your friends. Treat them with respect and kid gloves but remember they will document their perception of events.
  • SAFE program staff take sides so be careful when communicating with them or in front of them.
  • SAFE program staff will testify with regards to their observations even when they lack the qualifications to provide the same.
  • SAFE program staff may refuse to put things in writing. If this is the case, send a fax requesting a response in writing. You may need a few of these over a reasonable period to
    show you made several attempts to work with the organization. Make sure to keep the fax confirmation receipt to present to the judge.
  • SAFE program may take an extended amount of time to schedule visitation and access. Currently, the wait for your first visit is about three months.

Victim Assistance Centre Contact Information:

Victim Assistance Centre
Safe Supervised Visitation
1310 Prairie, Suite 1030
Houston, Texas 77002

Phone: 713-274-7391 – (New as of 2016)
Fax: 713-755-8824

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Consult With An Attorney First

Mary E. Ramos and her experienced attorneys are among the top divorce and family law experts in the Houston area. If you have been referred to the SAFE program, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC for a consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.

The most important criteria when hiring a Houston divorce lawyer is to hire an attorney that only practices in the area of family law. Keep in mind, you wouldn’t hire a general family doctor to do brain surgery so why hire a general practitioner to assist with your family law matter.

The practice of family law and divorce can be a fairly complicated and challenging process. The attorney must not only know the law but must also have a strong understanding of the family court system in the counties in which they practice. Each county has it’s own set of rules and within those counties each court has it’s own subset of varying rules and processes. A family law attorney must be able to determine if it’s in their client best interest to settle out of court or take the issue to the judge or jury based on their experience with the court’s previous rulings. Keep in mind, some courts have a track record for ruling in a certain direction based on specific issues. For this reason, it is very beneficial to hire a family law attorney with intimate knowledge and experience with the county in question.

Consequently, we limit our practice to family law and only in Angleton, Conroe, Clear Lake, Galveston, League City, Pearland, Sugar Land and The Woodlands.

CAUTION: Don’t be lured in by the neighborhood general practitioner. Yes they tend to be very friendly but in the end they cost their clients large sums money in attorney fees and a stake in the community estate.

Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.

06/26/2015 – Same-sex marriage “Divorce” is now legal across the nation. – Alfredo

In a word, no. Marriage laws are governed by the individual states. Some states have recently recognized the validity of the marriage between a same-sex couple. The State of Texas, however, only acknowledges the existence of marriage between a man and a woman. As such, Texas does not recognize the validity of a same-sex marriage granted in another state. Because a same-sex marriage does not technically exist in the eyes of the Texas law, the state may not grant a divorce.

Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald wrote in an August 2010 5th Court of Appeals decision, “Texas law, as embodied in our constitution and statutes, requires that a valid marriage must be a union of one man and one woman, and only when a union comprises one man and one woman can there be a divorce under Texas law.” Because of the ongoing legislation regarding this matter, legislation could change in the future. But for now, no same-sex couple may receive a divorce in Texas, even if their marriage was legally obtained in another state.

Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.

In most divorce proceedings, each spouse is responsible for his or her own attorney’s fees and litigation costs. The court does, however, have the power to require one party to cover all or a portion of the opposing party’s reasonable attorney’s fees. This will depend on the financial resources of both parties and the facts of the case. Either party may request for the other to pay attorney’s fees. It is at the judge’s discretion as to whether that is ordered or not.

Should the court render judgment for attorney’s fees, the party will be ordered to pay directly to the attorney. A judgment for attorney’s fees may be enforced in the attorney’s own name by any means available for the enforcement of judgment for debt.

Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.
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