Austin Texas Family Law, Eminent Domain and Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ

Austin, Texas family law, eminent domain personal and injury lawyer frequently asked questions and answers

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  • Do I need to hire a lawyer to get a Texas divorce?

         If the spouses have been married a short time, there are no children and there is no property to speak of, it may make sense to do your divorce completely on your own with available forms, possibly paying for limited advice from an attorney to review documents and avoid mistakes. If children are involved or if you have property that needs to be divided (cars, a home, retirement accounts, a business) then it is important to at least seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to make sure that you follow the correct steps and that you are not making a mistake you will regret later. If there are matters regarding children or property that you cannot agree how to resolve, and especially if you will need a hearing to resolve any matter, it is very important to at least seek the advice of a family law attorney, whether or not that attorney will appear for you in court.

  • What does it cost to divorce in Texas?

        The average divorce in the U.S. costs between approximately that same as the average wedding: $30,000.00 (which is also the average price of a new car). Cases involving significant assets or custody battles can exceed $100,000.00 per side. Extreme cases can cost one million dollars or more. To the extent you and your spouse can sit down and agree to the terms of your divorce, you will save yourself time, money and aggravation.

  • How long does it take to divorce in Texas?

         The minimum time required to divorce in Texas is 60 days from the date of filing the divorce petition with the appropriate county clerk. When the parties agree reasonably quickly to how to handle kids and property, most divorces take about one year. Disagreements regarding how to care for the children or how to divide property can complicate the process and stretch the time to two years or more.

  • What are the steps to divorce in Texas?

         Texas is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you may file for divorce at any time and you do not have to prove your spouse did anything wrong in order to get divorced. A petition for divorce is filed in the appropriate Texas county and is then served on the other spouse. The petition must be on file with the county clerk for 60 days before you may finalize your divorce. The parties my exchange information and documents regarding children and property issues either informally or through the formal discovery process. The spouses may want to set up temporary orders (either by agreement or by court order after a hearing) that state who will live where, who will pay for what, specify where the children will live and outline a child possession schedule while the divorce case is pending. The spouses try to reach an agreement regarding how to care for the children and how to divide their property, often with the help of a mediator. If they cannot reach an agreement, they may ask the court , after a hearing, to order how children are to be cared for and how property is to be divided. The parties will also prepare any documents needed to divide certain property such as cars, a home or retirement accounts. Once the court signs the final decree of divorce, the parties are officially divorced. If there is a trial, either party may appeal the court's ruling based on legal mistakes that party believes was made by the court.

  • How do I protect myself during a Texas divorce?

         It is important to make sure you will have sufficient funds available to pay your bills, care for your children and hire a lawyer, at least during the first phase of a divorce. It is a good idea to have a separate bank account that your spouse does not have access to with these funds in it. Remember that all the property you and your spouse have is presumed to be community property, so, depending on circumstances, as the case progresses you may ask the court to order your spouse to provide you additional funds for living expenses and attorney fees.

  • What happens to my property if I divorce in Texas?

         Unless the couple agrees to something different, all of their property in a Texas divorce is presumed to be community property that will be divided between them. Each party has the burden of proving that any particular item is separate property that the court may not divide and that will remain their own property. Also, either party may have a reimbursement claim against the other for money spent in certain ways during the marriage. In addition, in certain circumstances a spouse may ask the court to order one spouse to pay monthly spousal maintenance for a set period of time after the divorce.

  • What happens with my children if I divorce in Texas?

         In most Texas divorce cases, unless the husband and wife agree to something different, the parents are appointed as joint managing conservators with each having all the rights and duties of a parent. One parent is normally appointed as the "primary" conservator with whom the child will reside. The other parent is given the Texas standard possession schedule outlining when they will have the child and is ordered to provide health insurance and pay child support until the child reaches 18 and graduates high school. If the parents are not in agreement or the situation is out of the ordinary, the court may order a different possession schedule and award different rights to each parent.

  • How can dog bite attacks on children be prevented?

    There are several safety tips you can teach your children in an effort to prevent dog bite attacks. However, if your child has already been attacked, you should speak to an Austin injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer who has handled many child injury law cases can discuss with you collectible damages and explain your legal options.

    Tips to Prevent Dog Attacks on Children

    When you meet with an animal bite lawyer, he or she can explain issues of negligence and provide you with tips for preventing future dog bite attacks. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend your child to do the following: 

    • avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog;
    • avoid running and screaming if a dog approaches;
    • remain motionless like a tree if a dog approaches;
    • roll into a ball and be still like a log if knocked down by a dog;
    • don't play with a dog unless there's adult supervision;
    • don't look directly into a dog's eyes;
    • don't disturb a dog that's sleeping, eating or tending to puppies; and
    • don't pet a dog without the owner's permission and without first allowing the dog to sniff you. 
    Because child injury law can be very complex, it's best to consult with an Austin injury lawyer after your child has been attacked by a dog. With the assistance of an animal bite lawyer, you may able to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional anguish. To help your attorney prepare a strong case, take pictures of your child's injuries and don't destroy any evidence, such as damaged or bloody clothing.

    Contacting an Austin Injury Attorney

    Before you take the important step of hiring an attorney, educate yourself about what you can expect from a Texas injury case. Order this free guide for Texas accident victims and learn: 
    • What to ask a lawyer before hiring him or her to take your case.
    • The most common reasons a Texas personal injury claim can fail.
    • What you can do to protect your injury claim. 
    Not every accident case requires the help of an attorney and we can help you to determine whether yours is one of those cases! If you are ready to get started with your case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation - 1-512-472-7799.

  • What kinds of injuries are most common with a dog bite attack in Austin?

    There are many common injuries that could be sustained in a dog bite attack in Austin. You should get in touch Austin, TX attorneys who have experience handling dog bite cases if you or your child has become the victim of an attack. In fact, a Texas premises liability attorney would be especially helpful. An attorney with experience in the area of premises liability can help track down the vicious dog's owner and determine if negligence was a factor.

    Child Injury Statistics: A Close-Up on Dog Attacks 

    National child injury statistics show that: 

    • 3.2 to 1 are the odds that a dog attack victim will be a child;
    • children are more likely to be attacked from the neck up;
    • children 10 and younger suffer the most severe injuries; and
    • in kids 4 and younger, 90% of dog attacks occur in the home. 
    Common injuries include the following: 
    • abrasions and lacerations;
    • puncture wounds (dog sinks teeth and bacteria into flesh);
    • tissue loss (skin and tissue is ripped away);
    • crush injuries (the jaws of a dog can rip tendons, break bones and compress nerves);
    • strains and sprains;
    • disfiguring scars (Austin, TX attorneys will seek damages for future medical expenses if it can be proven that your child will need cosmetic surgery in the future as a result of the attack.); and
    • infections (rabies, cellulitis and C canimorsus). 
    To protect your legal rights after a dog attack, get medical treatment, retain any damaged clothing, and contact a Texas premises liability attorney quickly so the vicious dog and its owner can be found. Your attorney may be able to help you recover damages for your physical and emotional recovery.

    Contacting an Austin, TX Attorney

    Before you take the important step of hiring an attorney, educate yourself about what you can expect from a Texas injury case. Order this free guide for Texas accident victims and learn: 
    • What to ask a lawyer before hiring them to take your case.
    • The most common reasons a Texas personal injury claim will fail.
    • What you can do to protect your injury claim. 
    Not every accident case requires the help of an attorney and we can help you to determine whether yours is one of those cases! If you are ready to get started with your case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation - 1-512-472-7799.

  • The settlement offer that the insurance company is offering me would not even cover my medical bills. What can I do?

    Insurance companies often take advantage of normal people who know very little about their legal rights. As a result, they often offer settlements that are worth a small fraction of what the policyholder deserves. If the circumstances are bad enough, the insurance company may even be guilty of "bad faith" and subject to damages. An experienced attorney can help you get fair treatment from your insurance company.