How Do I Get Divorced In Texas?

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Many people that in a marriage relationship separate, stop living together and even lose touch.  But, what happens when you want to move on with your life?  How do you remove your ex from your insurance, estate or even a lottery win?  How can you marry another person when you’ve already married?  In Texas you generally need to go through a formal divorce proceeding.

Residency

The first thing you need to do, is determine if one of you has lived in Texas for the last six months and in the county that the case is filed in for at least the last ninety days.  With this, at least one of you is a resident and Texas and the county can have jurisdiction over the claim.

 

Grounds for Divorce

Next, you need to state the grounds for the divorce.  Insupportability is the most common now days.  It means that there is no finding of fault with either of you, you just have differences which can not be overcome. The other grounds may be claimed to allow a divorce are:

  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a Felony
  • Abandonment
  • Living apart
  • Confinement in a mental hospital

 

Children and Things

You next need to determine how you want your assets and debts divided.  How are you going to pay your bills without your spouse? Where are you going to live? And, what about simple things like furniture and dishes?

Many people wait too long to think about their assets and their debt. You need to make plans on how you will get by.  Save up if you need to.  Texas is a community property State.  You need to understand what is your separate property and what is community property.

If you have children, are they going to live with you or your spouse?  Is there going to be child support?  If you are discussing the divorce, it is best to understand these issues before the litigation begins.  Are these issues agreed to by you and your spouse or do they need to be determined by the court?

Attorney

Do you need an attorney to assist in the divorce?  Do you each need your own, or can you share the same attorney?

I worked as a plumbers helped when I was a teenager.  But, when I need plumbing done, I call a professional plumber to handle it.  It is faster and usually cheaper.  The same applies to using an attorney.  They know the laws and procedures and are there to advise you on what is your best interest.  Many people spend a lot of money fighting over something that is irrelevant to their divorce.

I would always recommend that each of you has their own attorney, even if you are still getting along.  If you do, it is more likely that you will stay civil with each other.

Petition for Divorce

The next step is to file a Petition for Divorce with the court.  This is usually done at the district or county clerks office in the courthouse.  The petition will generally need to have the required information and either a location to serve notice upon your spouse or a waiver of service signed by them.

Once your spouse is given notice, you have begun divorce proceedings.  There is a standard waiting period of ninety days before you can get a final decree of divorce.  But, if there are complications, you divorce could take a lot longer to be finalized.

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What Could Happen After My First Charge For DWI?

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Many people in Texas enjoy having a few beers at the sports bar or having a glass of wine at dinner.  Unfortunately, if you drive home after having a few drinks and you get pulled over, your likely going to be charged with a DWI.

The first thing to expect is that you are going to be arrested.  If there is not a sober driving to take control of your vehicle, it will be impounded.  So not only do you need to bond yourself out of jail, your going to pay to get your vehicle back.

In most cases, your drivers license will be confiscated and you will be given a temporary driving permit.  The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) suspension starts forty days after the arrest unless the person requests a hearing for an occupational license within 15 days of the arrest.

As long as your blood or breath alcohol concentration is below .15, you are over 21 years of age, there were no children in your vehicle at the time and you were not involved in an accident, you will likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

The Class B misdemeanor will include probation up to two years, monthly probation fees, court costs, a fine up to $2,000.00, complete all classes and counseling ordered by the court and probation office and community service hours at a place determined by the probation office.  The court may also require you pay to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle and to pay a monthly charge to maintain it.

This does not include how your vehicle insurance will be affected, or what will happen with your employment.  If you’ve had a few drinks, call a friend to come get you, call a taxi or Uber.  If you don’t one of your next calls needs to be to an attorney.  Drive safe.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law Firm, (214)357-1782 info@themorrisfirm.net

Texas Workers Compensation: Car Wreck While at Work

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In today’s world many Texan’s travel as part of their job.  This travel may be in the worker’s own vehicle, a coworker or one provided by their company.  Unfortunately, traveling on our roads and highways places us at risk for an accident.  Accidents occur as the result of the negligence of the other vehicle, our own negligence or even just dangerous road conditions.

If you or a loved one have been in an auto accident while in the “course and scope” of your employment, you need to have the accident reviewed by a professional to see if you have more than one cause of action.

After any auto accident, the case needs to determine, what caused the accident.  If someone else caused the accident, you have a claim against that person.  These claims are usually handled by their vehicles insurance carrier.  If the accident was unavoidable or your fault, you still may have a claim under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to help to cover your damages.

However, Texas Workers’ Compensation claims are “No Fault” claims.  This means that it was not matter how the injuries occurred.  If you are in the “course and scope” of your employment when your accident occurred, you have a claim.  There are a few exceptions (ie you were intoxicated at the time).

After any accident, it is hard to pay for your medical bills on top of our normal bills.  The pain and recovery from injuries at the same time, just make it worse.  but, if you’ve had an auto accident while at work, you may have more than one type of insurance claim to help you recover your damages and injuries.

Medical Source Statements Social Security Disability

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The social security disability process requires you to prove that you are disabled.  You may have to do this multiple times.  For instance, you may to prove this when you submit your application, and again if you have to appeal a denial and appear in front of a judge.  Usually, the best evidence is medical evidence – and the best medical evidence is something we call a Medical Source Statement or a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment.

You will need to present this form to your doctor and ask her to fill it out.  I’ve provided a link to an example of a Medical Source Statement below.  Basically, this form allows your doctor to explain your diagnosis, the testing you have undergone, and how your mental or physical condition affects your functional ability.  Your primary care doctor or a specialist who has treated you will be the best doctors to ask to fill this form out.

When you ask your doctor to fill out this form, ask her to be as specific as possible – not just about the fact that you have pain, but in the details about what you can and cannot do.  You will want the doctor to explain that your pain affects things like how long you can sit or stand during a work day and how much you can lift at any one time.

It’s common for people to think that if they give the Social Security Administration all of their medical records, then a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment is not necessary.  If you only rely on your medical records, then there is no explanation of what those records mean.  You might have an x-ray or an MRI that shows what is wrong with you, but those tests don’t explain how your condition limits your ability to work.  But a Medical Source Statement does.

You want to make it as easy as possible for the judge to rule in your favor.  A Medical Source Statement gives the judge an easy to use piece of evidence to do that.  Even if you have to pay the doctor to fill it out, it will be worth it when you win.

An example of this type of form can be found at Source Link

Social Security Disability: Medical Records

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The number one most important reason why people win or lose their social security disability claim is their medical records.  People who can’t work because of a physical or mental condition are supposed to qualify for disability benefits.  If your medical records don’t make it to the social security administration before a decision is issued, then there won’t be any evidence to prove your disability.

The Social Security Administration is supposed to gather up all of your medical records from your doctors, but they don’t always get that done.  It’s pretty common for something to be missing.  So, it’s pretty important for you to keep a good list of all of the doctors that you have seen, get the medical records yourself, and take a copy to the Social Security Administration office.

Social Security laws require your doctor to give you the first copy of your records for free if you are filing a disability claim.  You don’t have to worry about being able to afford them.

Your medical records will be the most important evidence in your case.  So, make it easy for the SSA to rule in your favor by giving them all of your records.  We do this for our clients.  We’ve seen too many cases where the SSA has failed to get everything and it really hurts the case.  This is one of the most important things we do for our clients because it gives them the best chance to win.