Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Protective Orders

Chapter 81 - TX Family Code


Child's Name Change - Chapter 45 of the TX Family Code

If the child is over the age of 10, the child must submit in writing that they really want the name change.  The reason for the name change must be stated. 

Adult Name Chapter - Chapter 45

A lot more information is required.  You can read the requirements in the TX Family Code.
A finger print card is required.  I have clients get 2 finger print cards.  The reason for the name change is required.  If a person is trying to avoid creditors or has a serious criminal record, the court will NOT do a name change. 

Some courts will NOT do a name change without an attorney.  It's up to the Judge.

In Harris County, the civil courts require all the paperwork when the petition is submitted.

In Harris County, the family courts do NOT require all the paperwork when the petition is submitted.

Some judges handle adult name changes a bit different than other judges. 

Several pro se petitioners have ended up hiring me after trying to do an adult name change on their own.  I have been able to get an adult name change finalized after they have been unable to do it on their own.  Why?  I know what the individual judge wants and the pro se petitioner does not understand the legal system.  Each client has said that my fee was worth every penny.
They each said that they wished they had hired me at the beginning instead of trying to do it themselves.

Civil Liability for Interferring with Child Visitation

It does not happen often by Judges can "punish" people that get involved in "parental kidnapping" or "interfer" in "child visitation".

The law states that a person who aids or assists in conduct for which a cause of action is authorized by this chapter is JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE FOR DAMAGES.

This means that if you are involved in ANYWAY then you can be held LIABLE for any DAMAGES THAT OCCUR if anything happens! 

This means that if you get involved with a dog and you get up with fleas you might get a flea bath and anything that is required to get rid of the fleas! 

So if you get involved with a dirty dog be prepared for a taking a bath -- financially!

Damges may include -- actual costs and expenses incurred -- including attorney fees!


Parental Liability

Chapter 41 of the TX Family Code

A parent can be held liable for up to $25,000 in damages for negligent or malicious acts of a child. 

A parent or any other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any PROPERTY DAMAGE proximately caused by THE NEGLIGENT CONDUCT OF THE CHILD if the conduct is reasonably attribuable to the negligent failure of the parent or other person to exercise that duty OR the wilful and malicious conduct of a child who is at LEAST 10 YEARS OLD but is under 18 YEARS OLD.

Damages can be $25,000 per occurrence plus court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.

Damages to a hotel or inn - per occurrence means one incident in a single day in one hotel room.  This term does not include incidents in separate rooms or incidents that occur on different days!

Parents beware of prom week-ends and groups of hotel rooms!

New 9/1/2009 Chapter in the TX Family Code - Chapter 34

Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative

Chapter 34 allows a parent to provide specific authorization to a grandparent, adult sibling or adult aunt or uncle of a child to provide medical, educational, and other parental consents in a parent's absence. 

Texas Family Code - Notice of Abortion

Chapter 33 - Notice of Abortion

Consent to Treat a Child by a Non-parent

Chapter 32 of the Texas Family Code

Consent to Medical, Dental, Psychological, and Surgical treatment and consent to immunize a minor child

Also contains a section on emergency shelter or care for minors.


Chapter 31 of the Removal of Diabilities of Minority or Emancipation in TX

In Texas you must be 16 or 17 to be emancipated.  Read Chapter 31 (available on-line) which states what must be listed.  The parent of the child MUST verify the petition or an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem shall verify the petition. 

The Judge shall appoint an amicus attorney ro attorney ad litem to represent the interest of the child at the hearing.  Someone (the child) has to pay for this attorney.  They usually charge a minimum of $1,000 (or more) for their legal fees.  Again, most kids can't afford their legal fees.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Holistic Lawyer

I am often asked who was the first holistic attorney.

Abraham Lincoln’s name is often mentioned as being the first “holistic” attorney.

Below are some quotes from a law lectures from around 19850 that reflects Abraham Lincoln keen wit and outlook about the legal profession…

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – n fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

“Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the register of deeds in search of defects in titles, whereon to stir up strike, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone tough tot be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.”

“The matter of fees is important, far beyond the mere question of bread and butter involved. Properly attended to, fuller justice is done to both lawyer and client. An exorbitant fee should never be claimed. As a general rule never take your whole fee in advance, nor any more than a small retainer. When fully paid beforehand, you are more than a common mortal if you can feel the same interest in the case, as if something was still in prospect for you, as well as for your client. And when you lack interest in the case the job will very likely lack skill and diligence in the performance. Settle the amount of fee and take a note in advance. Then you will feel that you are working for something, and you are sure to do your work faithfully and well. Never sell a fee note -- at least not before the consideration service is performed. It leads to negligence and dishonesty -- negligence by losing interest in the case, and dishonesty in refusing to refund when you have allowed the consideration to fail.”

“There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief -- resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.”