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Christopher Jay Harding

Christopher Harding’s Answers

1,153 total


  • How long does a Supreme Court appeal take?

    My son was placed with us as an adoptive placement in June 2012 by CPS. We were supposed to finalize the adoption in November ( he had been legally free for adoption since October 2011). We received a call in October that his bio father had found ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    No - the Texas Supreme Court does not have any timeline requirements by which it must issue an opinion. You can call the clerks to check the status.

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  • If I file for a divorce after less than 4 years of marriage, do I owe her anything financially?

    She has refused to work for the past 3 plus years. I have completely furnished a 3 bedroom house and have contributed to a joint account that she spends out of. I have payed for 100% of everything, vacations, vehicles, give her money for her bi...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You owe a 'just and right' share of the community estate. We normally look at 50% as a starting point.

    The Courts see your situation as just 'a condition of the marriage,' normally. Which means she is still entitled to 1/2 of the income for those 3 plus years. Fortunately for you, it appears that those monies were spent, so that income is not there to divide. To make sure, go get bank statements and financial statements from right before your marriage and all the way up to today. (The request is made to the financial institution, there is a cost, but it will be worth it.) Then you can see the amount of money you had on the date of marriage (your separate property) and all the money that came in (community property). You can try to trace it as well if you want. The community property is subject to division.

    You also probably have a reimbursement claim. That is, either your separate property or community property was used to pay down her debt she came into the relationship with. The Court may very well order her to pay it back to you, either out of her separate property or out of her share of the community assets.

    You definitely want to hire an attorney for the process, and work with them to come up with your trial exhibits and summary of the marriage. With good prep work, the case will likely settle once she sees that she is going to be spending money on attorneys and litigation and not walking away with anything, or at least not much.

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  • Bank lost my personal loan documents and now they want me to come sign again.

    I do not want to sign another agreement and have the first one come haunt me later. My first payment is scheduled in about a month from now. How can I protect myself?

    Christopher’s Answer

    You can also make sure that there is language in the new agreement that states it 'supersedes' any prior agreement between you and the bank, and try to list the prior one more specifically by date or issue.

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  • Can i repossess a vehicle from my ex?

    My ex and I have 3 kids together, were together for 7 years and owned an SUV which was under my name. We then got separated (never married) and the stickers expired from the suv and to renew it he told me he had to put the title under his name. in...

    Christopher’s Answer

    No - not without some lien on the title. Doesn't sound like you have it. Your case suing him for the car or money would be a long shot as well. Your time and money, unfortunately, would probably be better spent working for a new vehicle. I am sorry.

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  • I filed a lawsuit against an auto repair facility in the small claims courts in the amount of $10K. No answer was filed.

    I filed suit in the small claims court against an auto repair facility for work not done and refusal to release the car after invoice was paid. Since filing the suit earlier this year and it being properly served on the registered agent in April o...

    Christopher’s Answer

    I fully agree with the prior answer. Also, make sure that the return of service is on file with the Court. That way the Court knows that the auto shop was actually served.

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  • We can't find my mom's ex husband to sign the sale of the house. What are her options?

    My mom divorced her husband two years ago. It was contentious and none of us (their kids and her) talk to him. As part of the decree, the house went on the market with proceeds to be split 50/50 between them. They are both on the title and the mor...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The lawyer may ask the title company if the divorce decree is enough. If not, there may need to be an additional order signed by the Judge. The title company is just trying to protect itself, which is fine. The judge can sign an additional order or appoint a receiver to sell the home. Either should work if the decree is not enough (and it may not be, depending on the exact language).

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  • How can a judge change an order when both parties are not present?

    My fiance had visitation for July and the mother did not come to get the child on July 31. On August 1 the judge wrote an order stating that any sherrif was to get the child from the father and give her to the mother. We live in another state an...

    Christopher’s Answer

    There are clearly facts missing here. Sometimes one parent may think, and the order may state, that your fiance is suppose to return the child, or have the child at a specific location. If your fiance failed, that would certainly be a basis for a writ of habeas corpus (what was filed to get the child). And a judge is only going to grant an application for that writ if the order clearly states that the child is suppose to be with the Mother and has not been returned. Your fiance may very well be in the right in terms of the exchange issue, but right now he needs to make sure the child gets home. Then he can fight it if he wants.

    Unfortunately, your state's position does not matter in this case. I would make sure that if anything else occurs, your fiance hire a lawyer.

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  • How do I get a continuance after attorney withdraw in family court Dallas county?

    My ex and I have had an agreement for 8 months through both our attorneys. His attorney was supposed to file this agreement as our temp orders with the court, but never did. Now opposing council sent standard visitation and some child support chan...

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree - ask your lawyer to include a request for the continuance while you find new counsel.

    Depending on what sort of agreement you had, and how it was done, your husband (and you) may or may not be entitled to get a final order on the agreement. Talk about this with your lawyer. Of course, if you no longer want the agreed terms as well, then just proceed with your case.

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  • How long do you have to pay on child support before you can request for it to be lowered?

    the amount is based on an old job that paid a lot more and it is causing me to lose my apartment because i can't afford rent and food

    Christopher’s Answer

    You need a 'material change in circumstances' from the date of the old order. If you lost your job after the order was signed, you can go and file now. If not, you can still try it, and claim hardship, but your chances of success are lower.

    When you file, go ahead and request a temporary orders hearing so that at the hearing you can get an order lowering child support. That will be a temporary order until a final order is signed.

    Watch out for the argument that you are intentionally unemployed. Be prepared to show how you are trying to get back to your prior standard of living and be prepared to explain how and why you lost your job. It needs to make sense, or the Judge is not going to side with you.

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  • I was sued by a creditor and got a judgement against me in TX. How soon does the judgement go into affect? What happens next?

    I want to know how much money they can take from my bank account. What if I only have $10 in the bank? I understand that in TX my wages can not be garnished but that they are allowed to take up to 25% of any money in my bank account. I have direct...

    Christopher’s Answer

    There are many things the creditor can do. They can garnish ALL of the money in your bank account, normally they do wait at least 30 days for the appeal deadline to pass. They can also try to take property, but normally individuals do not have property that is not exempt. Texas has a lot of exemptions for individuals.

    If your name is tied to a bank account, the primary or a co-signer, they will be able to garnish the account. Also, if they find out where you are depositing the funds, they may try a turnover order for that whole account, then force you to fight to get your relative's money back.

    They may also start noticing you for depositions or post-judgment discovery.

    As soon as you file for bankruptcy and provide them notice, they stop collection efforts.

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