Category Archives: Harris County District Courts Divorce

James McGhee fights for his son and against accusations of false abuse

James McGhee December 23rd 2014

James McGhee December 23rd 2014


This page has been established to give procedural updates on the James and Veronica McGhee divorce.  The father has been searching for his son for 3 years.  He found the son and wife in Houston, Texas at the beginning of 2014.  The wife finally answered the divorce with her attorney Pam Dickson, of Aids to Victims of Domestic Abuse.  In September of 2014, a temporary orders hearing was held. During this hearing, claims of a sexual assault were made against James.  The assault being the reason she went missing for 3 years. Mother has taken the child after a visitation and then refused return or communication in 2011.  The mothers stated one week after she got possession of the child, that the child started to say and act out certain sexual behaviors.  In court documents it was revealed that mom had been sexual assaulted as a child, but also had been raised in various foster homes and thus grew up in the care of Child Protective Service.  It was further revealed that mom did not take the child for a forensic exam until 23 months had passed from the 1st outcry.  During the hearing in September of 2014  Judge allowed Harris County Child Protective Services to open a new case. There is a hearsay exception to a child statement, when sexual abuse has been alleged.  During the September hearing, Faith Stone, a licensed counselor, gave testimony that some form of sexual abuse in which a thumb was placed in the child rectum and oral sex was performed with the child.  This counselor admitted she never talked with dad, and only knew the drug history of the mom.  Mom has multiple felonies and several years of incarceration.  Mom was also diagnosed with various mental heath disorders. Faith Stone had no plan of action to substantiate the father claims of parental alienation.  The judge was disturbed by this counselor conclusions.  It was also revealed that during the 1 year Faith Stone saw the counselor, that mom and her new boyfriend were allowed to sit on all the sessions.  Mom’s had since had another child with her new boyfriend, who has been convicted in the last ten years of crimes of moral turpitude.  He has a history of fraud and theft that goes back 20 years. To add insult to injury, mom was home schooling the child in September of 2014, mom is a 10th grade drop out. Judge ordered the child enrolled in public school.  In the first 9 days of school, the child missed 5 days.    December 15, 2014, CPS made its findings and Ruled out any sexual abuse.  Mom has opposed any access to the child, opposed having a 2nd counselor appointed by the courts to conduct a 2nd counseling session with the child, without any parents being present, and has been ordered to produce requested discovery documents, for which she delayed production.  January 2015, we expect to finally get some relief from the 311th in Harris County, Texas.  Support James and his fight. He needs to hire three experts witnesses, for which the average costs will be $10,000 per expert.  One for mom’s mental health, one for an evaluation of child custody, and finally one to give testimony on the false accusations and also parental alienation.

Contact Information

You may contact James directly at:

James McGhee
12055 Sabo Road Unit 910
Houston, Texas 77089
(832) 725-4377

or through his attorney:

Michael Busby

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

 

Judge Mecca Walker Appointed to 311th

Members of the Family Law Section received the following announcement from Judge Alicia Franklin on December 5, 2014.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Meca L. Walker as the Associate Judge of the 311th District Court effective January 1, 2015. Judge Walker has been an outstanding member of the judiciary for 7 years and has proven herself to be a judge who follows the law, treats people with dignity and respect and who goes above and beyond to serve children and families of Harris County. She has served as the Associate Judge in the 309th District Court, the  247th District Court and now I am thrilled to have her join the 311th District Court. Please  join me in congratulating and welcoming her to the 311th.

 In addition to Judge Walker joining the 311th District Court, I am also pleased to announce that I will add the Family Intervention Court and Infant Toddler Court to our Thursday afternoon docket. The FIC/ITC , which is a component of the Harris County Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) program, was founded in 2004 to serve families and children who have been impacted by addiction.  You can learn more about FIC/ITC by referring to our website which will be updated in early January.

 Sincerely,

 Judge Alicia Franklin”.

The family Intervention court and Infant Toddler Court was formally in the 247th as was Judge Walker.  The 2014 election saw a new administration in the 247th.  Judge Hellums is retiring along with some of her former policies which drew criticism from the candidates in the election. Some of Judge Hellums policies may live on the 311th under Judge Walker and Franklin.  Judge Walker has always being considered more of a “centrist judge” in that she is not known to punish nor does she hold grudges.  Judge Franklin is still under examination as to her judicial philosophy.  As for the local practitioner, it is always better to have tried several cases in front of that judge as you advise your client.  I would say most, if not all, of the family bar welcomes Judge Walker to the 311th Harris County Divorce Court.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

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308th and 311th Courts to Move End of 2014

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Members of the Houston Bar Association received the following announcement November 25th 2014:

Please be advised that the 311th and 308th Judicial District Courts will be moving to their new courtrooms on the 8th floor of 201 Caroline over the December dead weeks.  Both courts will be in their new facilities by December 22, 2014 and will begin conducting business officially with dockets beginning on January 5, 2015.  Thanks and have a good holiday.  ddf

David D. Farr
Presiding Judge
312th Family District Court
Administrative Judge
Harris County Family Courts

Both the 308th and 311th were the last two of the nine family courts to remain in the old family law center.  All four of the title four courts or the attorney general courts will remain at the old family law center at 1115 Congress.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

How to take a default divorce in Harris County Texas

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You must first file a petition for divorce with a bureau of vital statics form, Civil Case Information Sheet, and a Harris County Civil Process Request Form. The clerk will require that a filing fee be paid.  It may be that you are stating that you are eligible for a fee waiver.  Most of the fee waivers in this region are denied.  Pay your filing when the case is filed or you may subject yourself to dismissal. The clerks in the past have not allowed the cases to be served out if the constable fee and the citation fee is not paid.  Thus, you have three court fees to pay in order to get your divorce served out on your spouse.  Filing fee, must always be paid, civil process server or constable fee of about $65, and the citation fee of $8.   Texas has a 60 day waiting period before you can complete your divorce.  If you serve your spouse, then there is an additional window of 20 days, specifically, the first Monday following 20 days that you would be able to default but the 60 days must also run, thus they may run concurrently or at the same time.  You will need to get divorce certain form, if children are involved, best to check Harris County District Clerk, for your wage order, bureau of vital statics form, Section 105.006 form.  You will also need a medical support order, final decree of divorce, proposed property division and inventory, certificate of last known address, and affidavit with an attached search from the service members database, that you spouse is not in military service.

QUESTIONS  ANSWERED IN FRONT OF JUDGE FOR THE DEFAULT

This line of questions assumes you have had your spouse personally served in Texas.

o Please state your full name.

o You are the [Petitioner/ Movant] in this case?

o You are currently married to [Name of Spouse]?

o Were you a resident of  Harris County for at least ninety days and domiciled in Texas for last six months?

o You filed this [name of petition/ motion] on [date of filing]?

o [Name of respondent] is the respondent in this case?

o What is [name of respondent]’s last known residence?

o What is [name of respondent]’s last known place of employment?

o Was [name of respondent] personally served with the [name of petition/ motion]?

o One what date was [he/she] personally served?

o To the best of your knowledge, has [name of respondent] filed any type of response to your petition?

o Your spouse is not currently in the armed forces of the United States?

o You and your spouse were married on or about [date of marriage]?

o You ceased to live together as husband and wife on or about [date of separation]?

o Has this marriage become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities between you and your spouse that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship?

o Is there any reasonable expectation of reconciliation?

o (If applicable) You have [#] [child/children] born of this marriage who are not now emancipated?

o [Name of Child], a [girl/boy] born [date of birth] in [place of birth]?

o (If applicable) You have [#] [child/children] adopted of this marriage who are not now emancipated?

o You and your spouse are not expecting a child at this time?

o Have you filed with the court a proposed division of the assets and liabilities that were accumulated during the marriage?

o Do you believe that the proposed divorce decree contains a just and right division of those assets?

o Does the decree contain conservatorship, possession and support of your minor child that are in that child’s best interest?

o You are asking your name to be changed to [requested new full name]?
o Is this your [maiden/former] name?

o You are not requesting this name change to avoid criminal prosecution or the threat of criminal prosecution, are you?

o You are not requesting this name change to avoid creditors, are you?
o You are not requesting this name change to commit fraud on any person or entity, are you?

o Are you asking the court to grant your divorce?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

Beverly B. Malazzo appointed to 309th as Associate Judge

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Judge Dean has announced the replaced for Judge Charley Prine.  Judge Prine won the election for the 246th and will be moving over at the end of the year.   Beverly B. Malazzo earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in 1992.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Texas A&M University. Upon graduation from South Texas College of Law and becoming licensed to practice law, she went to work at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.  She served as an Assistant District Attorney through 2001, prosecuting in the misdemeanor, felony and juvenile courts gaining extensive trial experience.  Beverly left the District Attorney’s Office in 2001 to become an Associate Judge in the Juvenile Courts. She is also Board Certified in Juvenile Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Currently, Beverly is in private practice.  Her areas of practice include family, juvenile and criminal law.  Beverly is a member of American Leadership Forum – Criminal Justice 1 Class and the Houston Bar Association.  Beverly is a former public school teacher.  She has one daughter and twin grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending time.  Beverly will take the oath of office on January 1, 2015.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

International Divorce and Family law in Harris County Texas

A international divorce usually involves spouses who perhaps have filed for divorce in a foreign jurisdiction, where the waiting period is much longer than Texas, or perhaps that jurisdiction only grants a divorce based on fault, and this would be grounds to be awarded a disproportionate share of the  of the marital assets.  Children of the marriage would also be a concern.  Texas has long held that a “status divorce” may be granted by Texas courts even if the non-resident spouse does not reside nor has never been in Texas. Thus, the starting point is going to be Section 6.305 of the Texas Family Code.

It may be that no property or children are located in Texas. I am familiar with certain foreign jurisdictions where the woman can loose her dowry if she files the divorce, unless she shows that husband has somehow abused her.  You may have property in a foreign country but Texas cannot enforce a judgment outside of Texas.  I have had judgments from Harris county courts awarding property property in a foreign jurisdiction that you would need to take to that jurisdiction to determine if they recognize the decree for the property transfer.

Sometimes, I have men who want to file in Harris county, Texas and attempt to get status divorce, to take back to a foreign jurisdiction where another divorce is pending, because it causes the wife’s claims to loose steam, or perhaps it can cause issues with immigration in the one of the jurisdictions. Thus if you get status divorce in Texas, and you certify this status to a foreign jurisdiction who recognizes and domesticates the judgment, then many times support issues can no longer be litigated in the foreign jurisdiction.  This is the argument that is made, but the intent behind allowing people to get a status divorce has always been to sever the other claims to take them up in a foreign jurisdiction.

CHILDREN ISSUES IN A INTERNATIONAL DIVORCE

First and foremost, you must look at where the child has lived for the last six months.  If the child has not lived in Texas at all, you will not be able to address any of the children issues, but the court can order that the spouse in Texas, who may not have custody of the child, to pay child support. What is more common is that you have a foreign order that determines custody and neither parent resides in the jurisdiction anymore.  Both have moved to the United States, but may not both live in Texas.  Where the child is staying has become  an issue, and now court involvement is necessary.  What you would need is to file a certified copy of the foreign judgment with a translation, then serve it out to the parent or other family member who could may have possession of the child.  Harris County will issue a cause number and then you can attempt to get some Texas orders for visitation, rights and duties, also child support.

The doctrine of comity

This is a doctrine of judicial economy, when this is a case pending in another jurisdiction and the case is being prosecuted, then you attempt to dismiss or abate another case that was filed 2nd.  Normally in defending or prosecuting a 2nd filed case, you would ask for dismissal of the 2nd filed case or ask that it be abated until the 1st filed case has come to conclusion.  The policy would be to avoid having to try the case twice.  This doctrine always becomes an issue in a international divorce or family law matter.  Be prepared to discuss status of the foreign divorce when involved in a International Divorce and Family law matter in Harris County Texas and the doctrine of comity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com [contact_form]



How to lose in Harris County divorce court

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Well now, that is a first, is it not.  How many lawyers are going to tell you how to lose. You generally lose when a combination of the following events occur:

1. You fail to show up at court

2. You hire a peckerhead lawyer

3. You are belligerent with the judge

4. You are late for court

5. You lie to the judge

Finally, the most important but often overlooked, the facts are better presented by the opposition.  Call me to discuss how not to lose in Harris County divorce Court

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com



Houston Divorce Court Staff

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If your Houston divorce lawyer has not already told you the staff that you will encounter in the divorce court, the list below can be informative. It is important to know the role of each of these people. They will be the people who will determine the path your future will take. In most courts, they are a regular feature.

The Court Clerk

This is the person in charge of the courts records. He takes care of the paperwork and all the correspondence with the court goes through the office of the Court Clerk. He helps you find out what documents you need to file and how much they are going to cost you. He also informs you and your Houston divorce lawyer where things are located in the court as well as help  you with the legal resources you might require for preparation of your case. He can also advise you on basic legal procedures and general questions.

The Family Court Judge

This is the impartial authority in the court during the divorce proceedings. He is the person in charge of the general conduct in the court. He never gives an opinion and will never give you a direction on how to present your case. Before the case proceeds, the judge will issue some temporary orders to guide the conduct of the spouses that want to divorce in matters such as children custody, children residence, and spouse maintenance among others. Note that these orders are temporary and they are only in effect until the final determination is made.  If your Houston divorce lawyer seeks audience with him, the other party’s lawyer will also be required to be present. This keeps the integrity of the judge intact. The other party may claim the judge was not fair if he sees you or your lawyer when they are absent and then he rules the case against their client. A judge also makes the final divorce decree on the merits of the case. He will carefully listen to the submissions of each party. He will also make reference to case law and other laws that are pertinent to the case before him. This ensures that the judge makes the most informed decisions. Although some judges’ decisions are appealed, most of them are upheld by the appellate court.

Houston divorce lawyer

This is the legal advisor to the spouse. He represents their interests in the court. He/she must have passed the bar exams and should be licensed to practice law in Texas. He advises his client on court procedure as well as points of law. Advice is given to the clients to choose an experienced hand in the court representation if the divorce is contested and the mediation process have failed.

Court Stenographer

A stenographer’s duty in a court is to transcript every word said in court unless otherwise directed by the judge. He makes sure that every word said in court is captured on written record. These records become important when the judge is making a review of what was said in court in order to make a decision.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 



Is adultery a ground for a Houston divorce?

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One of the major causes of marriages to fail is the ‘forbidden fruit’. If you are the type who always sees the proverbial greener grass over your neighbor’s fence, then you are courting a Houston divorce. In Texas, family values are taken very seriously. Most people that divorce always quote ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the cause for divorce. This is usually a polite way of saying ‘unforgivable adultery’. Many Houston divorce judges will tell you that over 60% of divorces lodged in their courts are as a result of one or both partner’s sampling the ‘greener grass’. A Houston divorce judge can and will find adultery as sufficient ground for a divorce.

What is the impact of adultery in the property division?

Law was created to be equitable and fair. A judge will therefore feature the cause for divorce when deciding how the property is divided. A philandering husband or wife cannot expect to get an equal share of the communal property if by his actions, he caused the divorce. The law does what is equitable and fair. A wife whose husband has committed adultery cannot claim that since the husband caused the marriage to break, he is not entitled to any part of the communal estate. What the law will do in this circumstance is divide the property in disproportionately, with the larger portion going to the offended partner.

What is the effect of adultery on child custody and access?

Again, the law always tries to do justice, and wants to seem to have done justice. This is why generally; the philandering partner will not be denied a right to access his/her children. A court will not also base the custody of the children solely on the fact that one of the parents was cheating. Rather, what the court will do is investigate why the other spouse was cheating and whether while doing so, he was respectful to the children enough not to expose them to unsuitable behavior. In short, the court gives custody to the parent who shows the best values that are needed to bring up emotionally and physically healthy children.

What are the other effects of adultery?

Adultery will almost always trigger contested marriages. The partner who was cheated on always seeks to inflict as much damage to the cheating spouse as they can. Contested divorces are bad because they expose the children to constant chiding from their friends in school. The hostility created by adultery is usually bad on the kids who are split on whom to love and loathe between the two parents. Although the Houston divorce court will issue some temporary orders to guide the conduct of the divorcing spouses during the divorce proceedings, it is never easy when the trigger of divorce is adultery. There is a lot of vitriol directed to the cheating spouse and this extends to children who seem to side with their other parent. There is no end to how much a spouse who has been cheated on can do. This has given rise to the term ‘irreconcilable differences’ to shelter the kids from hating a parent for breaking up the family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 



How your court testimony can impress a Judge in Houston Divorce Proceedings

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Divorce cases in Houston tend to get a little bit complicated for those who are visiting the courts for the first time. You do not know where the washrooms are, you do not know the court procedures, you are anxious because the case may go either way, and as if this is not bad enough, you have to be in the same room with a spouse who you wish to never see again. Houston divorce proceedings can however be a simple affair if you know what to do – especially when giving a testimony or when being cross examined by the Houston divorce lawyers. Below are a few pointers that will make your Houston divorce experience less tense.

Make sure you understand the questions

No Houston divorce judge will punish you for clarifying a point. Never answer a question you are not sure of the answer. If you feel that the question is not clear enough, tell the lawyer you do not understand it. Remember that anything you say under oath can be used against you. Make sure you have sat with your lawyer and have trained how to answer questions. Many questions will require a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer. Make sure you do not provide the competition with fodder to pin you down.

Never volunteer information

Your job is not to help the competition do their investigation. Only answer what you are asked and never give out information unless you have been directly asked to do so. Any information you give out will be recorded by the Houston divorce court stenographer and will be relied upon by the judge to make his final divorce decree. Make sure you remain as objective as you can in your answer. Seeming intent to fix your spouse will look bad on you. The judges are used to these family dramas and can tell when someone is genuinely hurting and when he or she is trying to elicit sympathy from the judge.

Always tell the truth

The Bible talks of truth setting you free. This edict has never been truer than in a court of law. The judges will look upon you kindly if you tell the truth – even if that truth hurts your case. There is nothing as important in bringing up emotionally mature children as honesty. If you portray this kind of character, you never know, the judge may hand you the possession custody. Houston divorce judges always seek to promote the wellbeing of the children and hence you stand a better chance with them if you depict yourself as a truthful person.

Hold your emotions in check

Throwing tantrums, getting abusive, or even breaking down in court is inappropriate. Save the sobbing and cursing to your privacy. In the court, present the mature side of you. The side that takes over in ugly situations will not help your case. Remain calm and objective, especially when your spouse is telling lies about you.

Take care you do not fall into a lawyers’ traps

Lawyers are wordsmiths. They know how to trick you into saying something that may mean totally different from what you intended to say. Although most Houston divorce judges will protect you from such kind of questioning, a few falls into the trap and you start looking like a liar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 



Caught in the Act “How do I get payback when the spouse cheated?”

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Well, Texas is a “no fault state” which means that a person can plead for divorce without alleging that either spouse is somehow responsible for demise of the marriage. One may allege adultery as a ground for filing divorce; however adultery is not a crime in the state of Texas. If you’re hoping your cheating spouse will face criminal repercussions for their actions, it’s not going to happen in Texas. So why would a person plead adultery as a ground for a Houston divorce? There are several main: (1) in order to receive a disproportionate share of the community estate or (2) for reasons related to child custody and conservatorship issues (3) fraud on the community, (4) wasting of community assets (5) You may be able to beat spousal support if your spouses is seeking support but cheated.

The Texas Family Code mandates that a court must divide a marital estate in a “just and right” manner. Fault in the breakup of the marriage and the financial benefits a spouse would have received from the continuation of the marriage are factors a court may consider in dividing an estate in a just and right manner. The existence of adultery alone may not result in a disproportionate award of the marital estate to the innocent spouse, but depending on your judge, could be a windfall to the faithful spouse. The innocent spouse is required to prove to the Court that the adultery was the cause of the breakup and either that because of the breakup the innocent spouse was deprived of future financial benefits or that the adulterous affair resulted in a waste of community assets through gifts made to the cheating spouse’s significant other.

If custody of the children is at issue during a divorce, a Court may consider allegations of adultery when making a decision regarding the children. Courts do not take kindly to parents who bring extramarital affair partners into the lives of the children or who engage in adultery in front of the children.  At the same time, if you have a new lover, who has also become a financial partner and is good with the children, then you may not suffer any penalty. if your spouse has failed to support you and never visits the children, then your new significant other could be a positive elements in your life and that of your children.  While many professionals believe that children are vulnerable during a divorce and the commission of adultery in front of the children speaks volumes as to a parent’s character, still what about the other parent’s character? You were lonely with your children and the spouse you are divorcing, who is to say that by finding someone new, you have damaged the relationship between your children and the other parent.  You found someone new because your current spouse was not performing their marital obligations and commitments in regards to financial support, time, and your physical relationship. When a Court is scrutinizing a person’s capability to be a good parent; proof of adultery can be detrimental to a parent in regards to child custody and conservatorship, but if you hire an attorney who can help you get your story out, you should be alright.  Just do not post any pictures or video of you and your new lover on social media or any public spaces.  If you are the faithful spouse, then you must find and save this information before it is destroyed by the cheater.

 About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 11 years and has tried over 100 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law,  divorce, & Houston Divorce Lawyer questions  in Harris County Texas.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer also would be applicable to the following communities within the greater Houston, Texas Area: Houston, Katy, Sugarland, Pearland, Friendswood, Clear Lake and Galveston.  We also handle cases from The Woodlands, Spring and Tomball and cases in Baytown,  Channelview, Alvin, Beasley, Bellaire, Brookshire , Clear Lake, Conroe, Dayton, East Bernard, Fairfax, Friendswood, Fulshear, Galleria, Greatwood, Hockley, Houston, Humble, Jersey Village, Kingwood, League City, La Marque, Orchard, Magnolia, Meadows Place, Meyerland, Missouri City, Needville, Pasadena, Pecan Grove, Pearland, Richmond, River Oaks, Rosenberg, Sealy, Sharpstown, Shenandoah, Simonton, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Stafford, Sweetwater, Tanglewood, Texas City, Tomball, West University, Valley Lodge

Uncontested Divorce Katy Texas

facebook cover 4.27.15Uncontested Divorce Katy Texas, uncontested or noncontested divorce in Katy, Texas.   There are two courts in Fort Bend County to 387th and the 328th.  I regularly practice in front of both judges on a weekly basis.  Too have it uncontested or waiver divorce the party’s must be in agreement as to the property division.   If you tell me you have no property I understand community property is all property earned  and acquired during the marriage.  Separate property is property that was owned prior to the marriage or received during the marriage by gift, device, or descent. Thus, any clothing, electronics, furniture, that you have purchased since you got married must be partitioned in Katy Texas uncontested divorce.  One has a cause of action after your divorce that for 2 years after your divorce a party may bring a lawsuit to divide undivided marital property.  With any children, they will need to be addressed as well if they are in Texas.  Texas may not have jurisdiction over children in other countries or other states and Texas would be  unable to Grant divorce rights and duties who makes educational decisions, who makes medical decisions, must be addressed in your final if the children reside in Texas. In addition child support is something Texas courts typically require unless you can show a disability or just cause not to pay or receive child support health insurance for the children must also be address.   Visitation between the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent is also part of the Texas final decree of divorce.   If all the terms have been talked about and everyone agrees,  then one court appearance to authenticate or to testify as to the date for the marriage and the separation in the agreements must be presented to a judge this saved typically takes 3 to 5 minutes in Fort Bend County Divorce Court what stretches your testimony to prove the divorce.   The divorce order becomes a final order after 30 days if you have children involved there’s always the right to modify the decree to  issue new child support or change the possession and access or appoint  you managing conservator.  A parenting class required is for being taken before you get divorce in Fort Bend County.   Please see my PDF on providers of the parenting class in Fort Bend County email so take an online class which is been approved in Fort Bend County.  www.busby-lee.com/pdf/parent_class.pdf

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 10 years and has tried over 100 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Houston Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions for 280th Protective Order Court in Houston Texas.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

Restraining Order Sugarland Texas also would be applicable to the following communities within the greater Houston, Texas Area:

Baytown, Bellaire, Bunker Hill, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galena Park, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, La Porte, Pasadena, Tomball, West University, Cypress, Crosby, Woodlands, Denver Harbor, Spring & The Woodlands, Spring, Stafford, Sugarland, Galveston, Missouri City, Richmond, & Alief

 

 

 

 

Harris County Houston Texas Divorce Courts

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The following is a condensed resource for all the divorce courts in Harris County Houston Texas Divorce Courts.  This does not include the attorney general title IV courts heard at 1115 congress Houston, Texas.

 

Available on the web

245th Judicial District:  (713) 368-5900

Judge   Roy L. Moore
Harris   County Civil Courthouse
201   Caroline, 15th Floor
Houston,   Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Hon. James Cooper 713-368-5900
Lead Clerk: Amy Freeman 713-368-5900
Assistant Clerk: Maria Arroyo 713-368-5900
Coordinator: Rosie Diaz 713-368-5900
Bailiff: Troy Byers & Dwyane Small 713-368-5900
Court Reporter: Rebecca Hammons 713-368-5900

 

246th Judicial District:  (713) 274-4500

Judge     Jim York
Harris     County Courthouse
201     Caroline, 16th Floor
Houston,     Texas 77002

Associate Judge:       Hon. Michael Hay 713-274-4500
Clerk: Shanell Collins 713-274-4500
Assistant Clerk:       Charlotte Gates 713-274-4500
Coordinator: Yolanda Harris 713-274-4500
Bailiff: K.D. Williams 713-274-4500
Court Reporter: Jenine Redden 713-274-4500

 

 

 

 

247th Judicial District:  (713) 755-6246

Judge   Bonnie Crane Hellums
Harris   County Civil Courthouse
201   Caroline, 15th Floor
Houston,   Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Hon. Meca Walker 713-368-6570
Clerk: Raven Hubbard 713-368-6570
Assistant Clerk: Ann Rodriguez 713-368-6570
Coordinator: Pam Hunt 713-368-6570
Bailiff: Mark Thierry 713-368-6570
Court Reporter: Phyllis Gonzales 713-368-6570

 

257th Judicial District:  (713) 274-4560

Judge   Judy Warne
Harris   County Courthouse
201 Caroline, 16th Floor
Houston,   Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Deborah Patterson 713-274-6950
Clerk: Kristel Rubio 713-274-4560
Coordinator: Melissa Parker 713-274-4560
Bailiff: Larry Lagarce 713-274-4560
Court Reporter: Eunice Tillman 713-274-4560

 

308th Judicial District:  (713) 755-6230

Judge   James Lombardino
Harris   County Courthouse
1115   Congress, 7th Floor
Houston,   Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Hon. Alyssa     Lemkuil 713-755-6230
Lead Clerk: Aquanette Davis 713-755-6230
Assistant Clerk: Iris Garcia 713-755-6230
Court Coordinator:     Norma A. Ovalle 713-755-6230
Bailiff: Joe Morin 713-755-6230
FOCAS Clerk: Rachel Handy 713-755-6230
Court Reporter: Leticia Salas 713-755-4802

 

309th Judicial District:  (713) 274-4520

Judge   Sheri Y. Dean
Harris   County Courthouse
201 Caroline, 16th Floor
Houston,   Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Hon. Charley E.     Prine, Jr. 713-274-4520
Clerk: Sandra Gomez 713-274-4520
Assistant Clerk: Patricia     Montgomery 713-274-4520
Coordinator: Madeline Russell 713-274-4520
Bailiff: Robenia     Bayer-Barthe 713-274-4520
FOCAS Clerk: Veronica Garza 713-274-4520
Court Reporter: Delores Johnson 713-274-4520

 

310th Judicial District:  (713) 368-6550

Judge     Lisa Millard
Harris     County Civil Courthouse
201     Caroline, 15th Floor
Houston,     Texas 77002

Associate Judge:       Conrad L. Moren 713-368-6550
Clerk: Nidia S. Alberto 713-368-6550
Assistant Clerk:       Chandria Hutchison 713-368-6550
Coordinator: Molly Nguyen 713-368-6550
Bailiff: Friedrich W.       Harrison 713-368-6550
Court Reporter: Benjamin Alva 713-368-6550

 

312th Judicial District:  (713) 274-4540

Judge     David Farr
Harris     County Courthouse
201     Caroline, 16nd Floor
Houston,     Texas 77002

Associate Judge: Hon. Eileen Gaffney 713-274-4540
Clerk: Dawn Hutchings 713-274-4540
Assistant Clerk: Shawn Simien 713-274-4540
Coordinator: Pat Plotkin 713-274-4540
Bailiff: Rufus Yarborough 713-274-4540
Court Reporter: Barbara Nagji 713-274-4540

311th Judicial District:  (713) 755-6242

Judge     Alicia Franklin
Harris     County Courthouse
1115     Congress, 7th Floor
Houston,     Texas 77002

Associate Judge:       Hon. Robert       Newey 713-755-6242
Clerk: Stephanie Garcia 713-755-6242
Assistant Clerk:       Monica Caballero 713-755-6242
Coordinator: Vicktor Almendarez 713-755-6242
Child Support       Clerk: 713-755-6242
Bailiff: Wilma Dearmon 713-755-6242
Court Reporter: Marilee Anderson 713-755-6242

 

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Houston Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions for contested divorce Houston Texas.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

Harris County Houston Texas Divorce Courts also would be applicable to the following communities within the greater Houston, Texas Area:

Baytown, Bellaire, Bunker Hill, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galena Park, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, La Porte, Pasadena, Tomball, West University, Cypress, Crosby, Woodlands, Denver Harbor, Spring & The Woodlands, Spring, Stafford, Sugarland, Galveston, Missouri City, Richmond, & Alief

 

246th Divorce Court Houston Texas

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The 246th Divorce Court Houston Texas is located at 201 Caroline 16th Floor as of June 2, 2014, Houston, Texas 77002.  Judge Charley presides with his associate serving is Chelsie Ramos.   You can find the court website at  here.  You can also view the pleadings filed in your case at district clerk.

Procedures in the 246th Houston Divorce Court

Judge Prine was the associate Judge in the 309th until December 31st 2014.  He served 4 years under Sherry Dean. , Uncontested divorces start at about 8:45 a.m. Monday through Friday.    Docket calls starts at 9 a.m.  The meditation prior to a temporary order is required  per Local Rule 7.1 and in the appropriate case. Enforcement of this rule is at the discretion of the judge.  Do not expect to punt the case if you have not been to mediation. The case should involve a disputed custody or issues upon a visitation schedule, then you may get a referral to mediation. The meditation prior to the final trial will be regarded only following the Harris County Local Rule 7.2 is treated pretty much the same as mediation before final trial.  Parenting classes requirement has not been enforced in this court, although the court cites local rule requiring the parents to take the class. What this typically means, if you have a contested case, and have followed the courts rules, you score points in the trial.   The issue of name changing must respect a set of rules. In the case of an adult, the following documents are required: a Criminal Record (CHFF), released by the Crime Records Division (DPS) in Austin or FBI (under the form of electronic files); Certified or Original Birth Certificate; a copy of the Driver’s License; a copy of the Social Security Card; an order granting the change of name. In the case of a child name change, there are required: the presence of both parents is needed, unless a Waiver of Appearance or Citation is filed by the missing parent; the child’s Certified or Original Birth Certificate; the petitioner’s copy of Driver’s License; copies after both Social Security Card of the petitioner and child; an order granting the change of name.

The pre-trial conference will be held 10 days prior to the actual trial. In the case of issuance of scheduling orders, they are released in 90 days if the case is filed with a 90-day notice. DWOPs may appear if none of the parties or their counsel, are present at the conference of the pre-trial. Also, if either the petitioner or the movant fail to appear at the trial will trigger DWOP.

Parental coordinators or facilitators can be appointed on notice. They will assist the need after acknowledging the fact and circumstances. Regarding the matter involving children’s preferences or children interviews, the court will not admit the bringing in of any child without their previous approval. After notice and hearing, the court will allow an interview with a child. In the case this interview will be accepted, it will be scheduled only after school hours.

Any preferential setting will occur only in the appropriate circumstances. Any motion for continuance will need a hearing. In the hearing, a reason for a continuance will have to be presented to the court. Agreed continuances will follow the same requirements, as they will not be granted automatically. After the continuance is accepted, the settled date of the pre-trial and trial must be filed together with the scheduling order. Exceptions are attorney vacations letters, which are filed with the Harris County District Clerk, in a timely manner. These are honored, without the need of undergoing a hearing or motion for continuance.

Amicus attorney be appointed in the right circumstances, either sua sponte or with notice and hearing upon motion made.

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Houston Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

245th Divorce Court Houston Texas

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The 245th Divorce Court of Houston Texas is located at 201 Caroline, 15th Floor Houston, Texas 77002.  The Courts website may be found here. You may check your case with the district clerk. The pleading filed in your case usually may be viewed at the district clerk website.  The 245th will only have you file if you have filed an active pleading.  Even so, they usually will not pull your file and advise you of the pleadings contained therein.

 Practicing law in the 245th family district court of Harris county Texas

Judge Roy Moore is the presiding judge with Judge James Cooper serving as his associate.  Uncontested start at 8:30 am with contested divorces starting at 10:00 am. In this court the associate judge will frequently hear trials in the jury deliberation room.  The meditation prior to temporary orders is required in all the cases, sole exceptions being the cases when the court waives them. Also, meditation prior to the final trial follows the same previous aspects. The court also encourages and recommends parenting classes, although they are not necessarily required. Name changes can be done daily, on the uncontested docket.

In the case of pre-trials, Jury trials will require them and may be set by the Judge based on the complexity of the cases. The issuance of scheduling orders will be managed in a maximum term of 6 months after filing the original petition, and will be done by the coordinator. The DWOPs will receive their first notice after 6 months unless any service or waiver is filed having no activity. The necessity of using parental coordinators or facilitators is very rare.

Regarding the cases where the children’s preference is involved or the children need to be interviewed in a chamber, they will strictly follow the statute. The interviews are frequently taken after the conclusion of testimony. Preferential settings can be made if they respect the following. The case will be set for every Judge, in every week. Judge Moore is available Monday to Friday, and Judge Cooper will have activity on Wednesday and Thursday. The schedule can be broken in case of prior arrangements made for a court reporter or if a reporter has been delayed.

The motions for continuance get the first trial setting on agreement. As the case becomes older, these motions will be harder to obtain in time. Also, amicus appointments are favored by the court in very severe cases, with high conflict. The appointment is made at the moment when the facts or conduct of both parties deserve one.

The docket is always on time. This court is considered efficient. A  form is required by this court no other court uses. It is termed information required under section 105 of the Texas family code. Also the court requires a pink sheet verifying certain forms prior to an entry.

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  Mike, frequently appears in the 245th court at least once a week,.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of this Houston Texas Divorce Court 245th Harris County.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

 

 

 

308th Divorce Court Houston Texas

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The 308th Divorce Court Houston Texas  website may be found here.   You can check on your case at  the district clerks website located at district clerk.  This court is located at 201 Caroline in the New Civil Building on the 8th floor.  The phone number is (713) 274-4600.

Practicing law in the 308th Judicial Court of Harris County Texas

Judge Lombardo is the presiding judge with Judge Michael Sydow,Jr.  serving as his associate. Judge Sydow replaced Judge Lemkuil who was appointed in 2015 to take over the 507th Harris County District Court.. Uncontested divorces are heard from 8:30 am to 9 am. Docket is called at 9 am. Docket call in this court is rarely, if ever, late.  Mediation is required before all temporary orders hearing and also before final trial. For temporary orders parties are given 45 minutes to present their case.  This court brings cases to trial within 7 months. Hearings in this court are usually given with at least 8 days notice. This court was considered not efficient at the end of Judge Demster term. With the passing of Judge Demster and the swearing in of Judge Lombardo, the logistics of the court have greatly improved.  Judge Lombardo follows almost all of the statutory presumptions for conservatorship and property.  He is not known as a punitive judge.  Parenting classes are necessary according to the local rules, but under certain circumstances they can be postponed. For name changes, the file will need to contain criminal check. Jury trials are the only cases when a pre-trial will be solicited. The Court approves issuance of scheduled orders.

In case the moving party will not show for trial, it will be dismissed without prejudice. The Court will accept a use of parental coordinators or facilitators is both sides agree on this aspect. For the cases involving children’s preferences and interviewing children in chambers, an appointment must be made with the court coordinator or Associate Judge. It is forbidden to bring the children to Court without an appointment.

Preferential settings for cases will be set regarding individual particularities of the case. If there is the need of motion for continuance, the agreed continuance will be faxed towards the coordinator. Any opposed motions will have to go through a hearing first, before the date of the trial. The Court always agrees for Amicus appointments in adoption cases. Also, the Amicus can be allowed in cases where custody or possessions are disputed.

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  Mike, frequently appears in the 308th court at least once a week,.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of this Houston Texas Divorce Court 308th Harris County.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

309th Divorce Court Houston Texas

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309th Divorce Court Houston Texas is staffed with Judge Sherri Dean who  is the presiding Judge with Judge Beverly Malazzo acting as her associate. The courts website may be found at here.  You can check on your case at the district clerks website located at district clerk.  This court is located at 201 Caroline  Houston 16th floor, Texas, 77002 as of June 2, 2014.

Courtroom Procedure for the 309th

Uncontested dockets start at 8:30 am with contested docket at 9 am. During the primaries election in 2010 then associate Judge Mecca Walker ran to be judge of this court. Judge Dean was a practicing attorney. Judge Walker was the favorite, Judge Dean drew twice the number of votes over all other candidates.  She is considered far right and a tea party judge. She suffers little tolerance for foolishness. She is a hardliner. It may seem hard to get your Judge time in this court.  This is because she is never short with the parties.  She always gives everyone their time, but you must wait your turn.  As there is so much family law conflict in Harris county, sometimes it take a good while to see Judge Dean.  Cases are brought to trial within 8 months. Mediation is required before a final trial. This rule is many times not enforced in a bench trial.   No meditation is required before  a temporary orders hearing. Pretrial hearing is required before final trials.  Exhibits and witness list must exchanged on this date.  Regarding the matter of the mediation prior to temporary orders, the Courts foresees the fact that both parties must be present in person unless they have met an agreement. After the first setting or hearing, the Court will determine the conditions for mediation prior to temporary orders. The mediation prior to the final trial is required, according to the local rules, but may not be enforced. The Court requires that both parties, together with the attorneys, should attend mediation sessions. Otherwise, the Court will consider it as being failure to attend at trial, and there is a chance that the attorney’s fees to be assessed for the non-compliant part.

The parenting classes are required in compliance with the local rules. Online classes are accepted by the Court. If you do not take the class, it is not likely to cause you any problems if you have an agreement, if your case is contested, you should take the class.  For name changes, there is the need for a Driver’s License or any other form of identification, a complete criminal background verification, and a birth certificate if the case includes a child.

In the case of pre-trials, the requirements per scheduling orders and reset orders, or reset orders alone, must be completed. This includes the exchange of exhibits as well. A very crucial aspects is that if the pre-trial conference checklist is completed and signed by either the attorneys or record or Pro Se parties, having all the prerequisite met and turned in, it will not be required the presence at the pre-trial conference setting. Otherwise, the Attorneys and Pro Se Parties must be present and make an approach to pre-trial issues. This will also happen in the case of a motion for a continuance request, even if the motion agrees. Any vacation letters, if they are filed in a timely manner and compliance with the Harris County Attorney vacation rules, will be accepted.

The issuance of scheduling orders is released in a period between 75 and 90 days, from the time the initial petition is filled. The notice for trial will not be lesser than 60 days. A dismissal without prejudice (DWOP) will result if any of the parties, the petitioner or movant, do not appear at the trial, taking into consideration that both sides were properly announced about the trial. The cases set for trial with no service and no appearance will be dismissed.

There isn’t an explicit policy for the use of parental coordinator and facilitators. The Court will determine, after notice and hearing if there is a need for a parental coordinator. For children preferences and interviews, the Court will conduct the meeting in chambers, after notice and hearing. All conferences must be scheduled after school hours. The children are not supposed to be brought to the Court without an approval from the Court.

Preferential setting are seldom accepted. But if the facts and circumstances require them, the Court will take these into consideration. The reset procedures for trial settings or hearings must be made according to the following. The clerk may reset the hearing requested by one of the parties. In the case of multiple parties have a hearing set for the same date and time, they must agree on reset date. The motions of continuance, regarding trial settings, must be subjected to a hearing where valid reasons will be specified to motivate the need for continuance. Even if a continuance is granted, there is still the need to attach to it the new pre-trial and trial date. The vacation letters of attorneys, which are the JIMS System, will be honored, without the need for a hearing or motion for continuance. Also, the motions for continuance must be filed on or even before the pre-trial conference. On very rare occasions the continuance can be granted on the trial day, when appearance is necessary.

The improved pre-trial conference checklist will allow the possibility of not appearing at the pre-trial conference, only in the case when the checklist is completed, all the prerequisites are met, and both attorneys sign it. It is for the cooperation and preparation for trial before the event takes place. The Court will appoint Amicus only in cases with exceptions. A temporary hearing will be needed before the Amicus will be nominated. If, after the hearing, the Courts decides that an Amicus is needed, then the case may be recessed to allow the amicus to due their due diligence.

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  Mike, frequently appears in the 309th court at least once a week,.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of this Houston Texas Divorce Court 309th Harris County.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

Houston Texas Divorce Court 310th Harris County

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Houston, Texas Divorce Court 310th Harris County is a family law and divorce court located at 201 Caroline in the new civil courts buildings on the 15th floor.   Judge Millard is the presiding judge with Judge Moren her associate. The courts webpage can be found here.  You can check on the status of your case by visiting the district clerks website at District Clerk.  Judge Millards bio and personal page can be found here.

 310th Divorce Court Practice and Procedure

The court does not require mediation before A temporary orders hearing. Uncontested divorces start at 8:30 am. The docket is called at 9 a.m. The uncontested usually start around 845 am. Some are called before docket with remainder heard after docket call. Judge Moren frequently calls the docket and then Judge Millard comes out to hear the cases. If you file a suit affecting the parent child relationship or a divorce with a co-respondent father who is not the husband, the court always requires DNA testing.  The parenting class requirement is not enforced in this court.  Cases are scheduled for dismissal after 5 months.  If service is made and an answer filed then an agreed scheduling order must be submitted with an order for mediation. Should you fail to attend mediation then your case will be dismissed. Should you call in late for trial without a notice of conflicts, your case may be dismissed.  This court is efficient. Rulings are predictable. The court is conservative.

The Court does not require mediation prior to temporary orders. But will require mediation prior to the final trial. If the parties fail to undergo a mediation process, before the final hearing, the case might be dismissed. The opposing party also needs to comply with the mediation. If not, the movant must file a Motion to Compel Mediation, before the trial. If this motion’s articles are violated, the Court will apply sanctions.

Considering the matter of parenting classes, the Court will require this form of education, as foreseen in the Texas Family Code and in the Rules of the Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, Family Trial Division. Any trial of divorce, which affects the relationship between parents and children, except the cases when a good reason is presented, will need parenting classes. Also, the Court might consider necessary an education course or counseling in the case of parents who are involved in modification or enforcement litigation. A child that will undergo any form or custody litigation might also have to participate in these courses. In some cases, a party might be attributed to a batterer treatment program by the Court.

In the situation of the name change, the adults must present a criminal background check and, in case of children, a birth certificate will be required. If pre-trial conferences are set, the Court will publish and post the pre-trial order. Thus, parties must respect the order and prepare to discuss all the aspects regarding the trial in this pre-trial conference.

For the issuance of scheduling orders, attorneys have the possibility of setting their trial date, based on an agreement. Such scheduling order will be released taking into consideration the issue of the trial. In the case counsels cannot reach a consensus regarding the trial date, the attorney needs to file a Motion for Trial Request. Any case that will not be set by the lawyers will be transferred on the Motion to Retain or dismissal without prejudice (DWOP). A case will trigger a DWOP in several situations. The responded was not served with a citation, prior to the date of the trial. The responded failed to file a response or to participate in the trial. The properly executed return of service is not found in the file. Or in the case when the petitioner did not submit a proper Motion to Retain, in order to receive a relief granted at the date, or before, of the status conference or dismissal docket. A case can also be subjected to DWOP if a written order is not registered in a timely manner, after rendition or order, and for other reasons that will be settled by the Court.

Regarding the use of parental coordinators or facilitators, the Court has no other particular requirements than the ones already stipulated in the Texas Family Code. If there is involved children’s preferences or their interview in chambers, the Court has the following rules. According to the Texas Family Code, the Court with interview in chambers children that are 12 years old, or older, to find out their preferences regarding the future residence. But, this discussion will not take place until the hearing of the parties is held. Also, the attorney will find further details in the Family Trial Division, Local Rule 3.5.

For establishing a preferential setting, the court coordinator must be contacted before the date of the trial. To make any requests of preferential settings before the Associate Judge, there is the need to make a waiver of appeal to the District Judge first. Also, the schedule for a preferred setting of the Associate Judge is recommended to be respected; these settings being usually made on Thursdays and Fridays. Before being filled, all motions for continuance must have the signature of both parties. The continuances are governed by the rules of T.R.C.P 251 through 254. Before filing such motion, an enough period must be taken before the trial date. Also, a new trial date must be obtained from the Trial Coordinator before the continuance is granted. It is a responsibility that falls on the parties.

Appointments for Amicus are made following the TFC chap. 107. Also, they are appointed when the law requires them. Also, in the case this election is optional, it will be accepted when the other parties cannot afford the fact finder independent. Or through the pleading for the person or persons, to be represented by an ad litem. To grant the ad litem fees, the guidance contained in the Rule 104a(b) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, together with the ability of the litigant to pay for these fees.

The Court might have other regulations as well, in conformity to the case’s nature of conditions. Thus, further notices can be provided by Michael Busby, a Houston divorce attorney.

 

 About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and family law attorney who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  Mike, frequently appears in the 310th court at least once a week,.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of this Houston Texas Divorce Court 310th Harris County.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.  Please call with your family law or divorce questions.

Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

 

Houston Texas Divorce Court 311th Of Harris County

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The Houston Texas Divorce Court 311th of Harris County, Texas hears family law matters generally from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The 311th   Judicial District of Harris County Texas is located on the 8th floor of the New Civil Law building at 201 Caroline,  Houston Texas.  This court hears divorce and other family law matters in Houston, Texas.  Judge Alicia Franklin has been on the bench since June of 2014 and was elected by Harris county to a four year term in November of 2014. .  Judge Newey has announced that he is leaving in December of 2014. Judge Mecca Walker has replaced Judge Newey and is the current associate Judge in the 311th.  Their new number is (713) 274-4580.

“Procedures in the 311th Divorce Court”

Procedure in the 311th Divorce Court start with agreed uncontested divorce and/or hearings which begin start at 8:30 a.m. Judge Walker typically starts about 8:45 a.m.  The docket starts at 9:00 a.m.  Trial docket start on Mondays at 9 a.m. with a two week rotation to hear or try your case.   Mediation is  required before temporary orders in which child custody is at issue and  all final trials.  Judge Walkers rulings are very narrow if the case has been recently filed.  She does not typically punish someone until there has been gross misconduct but then when there is a track record she comes down hard.    Cases are typically brought to trial within 8 months.

Mediation prior to a temporary order will be necessary if the conservatorship is contested or the estimated time to complete the hearing is more than 2 hours. There are extreme cases when the Court will waive the mediation, especially if it is about family violence. Also, the mediation prior to the final trial is also required unless the Court decides it can be waived before the trial.

The local rules, the Harris County Family Trial Division will regulate the parenting classes. This means that if you do not take the class and if you have a contested hearing, you loose points for custody, but if you have a deal, then the parenting class is not enforced.  In the case of name changes, there is the need for a criminal background check, together with an identification card that is valid. The pre-trial conferences are, in most cases, held on Fridays, with 10 days in advance of trial. There is the need for a pre-trial checklist to be completed by the parties. In the case of issuance of scheduling orders, the Court will issue the order within 90 days after the petition was filed. Pre-trials are typically held only in Jury trials.

Dismissal without prejudice (DWOP) cases are the ones that reached a final trial setting and no answer found in the docket call. Or, a Final Order has an entry, yet again there is no response to the docket call. The use of parental coordinators of facilitators will be established from case to case. Children preferences are crucial, and they are a good reason for modification. If the parties state that the child will make a choice, the Court will protect his best interest. Thus, children will be interviewed in chambers through Texas Family Code. Although, there is the need for the Court’s approval to bring a child in.

If the parties need preferential settings, before the Associate Judge, a Waiver of De Novo Hearing has to be executed, before the preferred setting is received. In case the parties come to a common settlement before a preferential setting, an immediate announcement must be made so that the case will be removed from the schedule and make room for another.

The motions for continuance can be granted from the first trial setting if the parties agree to it, and a new date can be set. All the other motions for continuances must be presented and verified by the Court. Amicus appointment will be accepted depending on each case separately. The court might also have additional requests and rules. For any supplementary information, contact Michael Busby, a Houston divorce attorney, who will be ready to answer any question.

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com

 

257th Judicial District Court of Harris County Texas

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257th Judicial District Court of Harris County Texas is located at 201 Caroline, 16th Floor Houston, Texas 77002 as of June 2, 2014.  Judge Judy Warne is the presiding Judge and Judge Patterson is her associate. You can find information about your case from the district clerk at district clerk.  You can find contact information for the court on the court’s website here. This court hears divorces cases and other family law matters to include child protective services cases, contempt action, suit affecting the parenting child relationship, and adoptions in Houston, Texas. Judge Warne took over after Judge Motheral retired in 2004. Judge David Farr was the associate for Judge Motheral and worked for a time with Judge Warne.

Appearing before the Court

257th Judicial Court Of Harris County Texas Divorce Court  most noticeable changes in the court after the change in Judges was the move away from a pre-trial of the case to setting them straight for trial. Uncontested divorces are heard from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Docket call is at 9 a.m. with order entries on Fridays. Mediation is required before final trial and also before a temporary orders hearing regarding child custody. This court is considered conservative on social issues. The logistics of the court in the management of its docket are efficient. Cases are brought to trial in 8 months if a bench trial. Trials before a jury take longer. I have tried several cases in front of both judges. Judge Warne is considered a no nonsense judge. She is short but precise. She does not joke nor make out of topics comments during trial. Judge Patterson smiles more than Judge Warne but her rulings are along the same line as Judge Warne. Trials are scheduled on a rotating two weeks basis. Fridays are order entry days in the 257th Judicial District. Attendance at the parenting class is not enforced in the court before someone wants to finalize their divorce in Houston, Texas. Michael Busby Jr. recently tried a grandparent access case in this court. In representing the mother of the child, I successfully motioned the court for a directed verdict on the evidence as to the grandparents access to the grandchild. This case was dismissed and no final order allowing the grandmother access was granted. One may think that Grandparents should have access for which I would not disagree, but to ask the state to intervene in a family relationship is a high evidentiary standard in Texas. I also appear frequently for divorce and other family law matters in this Houston, Texas divorce court.

Meditation prior to temporary orders is needed only in the cases where custody becomes an issue. The aspects regarding meditation prior to final trial and parenting classes will follow the local regulations. Name changes can be made in the auxiliary docket and will require a birth certificate. The coordinator will set any pre-trials, if the case. And he will also manage the issuance of scheduling orders, including their issuing.

If there is the need for dismissal without prejudice (DWOPs), the Court will send out notices, and that file will be set for 9 a.m. The need to use parenting coordinators or facilitators will be decided on each case in part and will be appointed if considered necessary. In the situation for children’s preferences, a motion must be filed, and the other part must be announced. The child will not be brought to Court until the Judges will decide so. In the case the interview concerns in preferences for purposes of TO hearing; then the Court will announce both the counsel and the parties if any nomination has been made after the interview is finished. No further actions will be required. If the Court needs to discuss with the child regarding a testimony, then the interview will be granted after the testimony is made. Also, if the child will be brought to Court, without prior permission given by the Court or Coordination, there is the chance the child will be immediately sent home or to school.

There is the need to contact the Coordinator for any preferential settings. The Court is rather flexible and, if requested in a timely manner, TOs and final trials can be set according to preferences. If there is the need of motions for continuance, these should be placed 10 days prior to the final trial. If one shows at the Court on the day of the final trial and expresses the wish of having a motion for continuance, this might be rejected.

The Court may appoint Amicus by respecting the code. Also, Amicus may be appointed if the Court decides the circumstances needs it. Neither the parties nor the counsel may choose the Amicus. The parties must be careful is asking for an Amicus appointment and afterwards to announce the court the absence of money to pay for it.

There are other aspects that must be respected during the presence in the Court. Always stand up when addressing the Court. Contrary, the Court might reject your objections. A docket call is not final and can be changed if an honest time estimate is made and announced. Also, courtesy is required, especially in opposing the counsel. Sniping behaviors, particularly in front of the bench, is not considered amusing or proper.

About the Author

Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and bankruptcy attorney in Houston, Texas who appears in court at least 3 times a week. He has 14 years experience in the Houston, Texas family law and federal bankruptcy courts. Call me for your questions on the 257th Judicial Court Of Harris County Texas Divorce Court. 257th Judicial District Court of Harris County Texas is written by Michael Busby Jr.  Houston divorce attorney.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

Vist me on the web at www.busby-lee.com