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Fran Brochstein

Fran Brochstein’s Answers

3,027 total

  • I lost custody of my children almost three years ago , I need to know if there is a chance I can't get custody back

    I won custody in the beginning but he kept taking me back to court for petty stufff. I was expecting my third child and he didn't agree with it so he started pushing for custody because I was high risk I lost my job and he made it seem as if I was...

    Fran’s Answer

    On the day the judge signed the last order (almost 3 years ago) you both started with a totally clean slate.

    Now the burden is on you as to why your child's residence and life should be disrupted.

    I recommend saving up your money and hiring an attorney the next time you attempt to go to court. You obviously were out-lawyered. Judges agree not to practice law from the bench so the judge is not allowed to help you.

    We cannot make recommendations on this website. There are attorneys that offer free consultations. Look around and talk to one. You will keep a certified copy of the judge's last signed court order to begin the process.

    Basically, you need to show that it's in the children's best interest to have a change in custody. It's not an easy burden to overcome. If the kids are over the age of 12, you can ask that the judge speak to the chlidren alone. But their opinion is not binding on the judge.

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  • Is it illegal for a 23 year old to date a 17 year old in Texas?

    If her parents oppose, what can we do?

    Fran’s Answer

    The moment she turns 18 she is an adult and can do whatever she wants. Parents can also remove her from their home. Of course she leaves with only the clothes on her back. After 18 she plays by their by
    Their rules or she leaves.

    If she's 17 then no statutory rape.

    But she's still a minor for civil purposes.
    Her parents rule til 18.

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  • Is there a time the Temp order hearing papers are served?

    I have yet to be served and my temp order hearing is 7 days away. By the time I get it I will not have much time to prepare or get an atty. Can I file an extension to get the time to prepare?

    Fran’s Answer

    Hire a lawyer and start getting prepared. You'll need financial information statement which is available from Harris county family court judges website. Plus 2-3 years income taxes and 3-4 current pay stubs. Also need all bank statements for the past 1-2 years. So much work so little time--get going.

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  • What amount of jail time would be considered excessive for a first-time, weekend-long visitation denial in Texas?

    Does two months sound reasonable or excessive? Have there been any appellate opinions on this matter?

    Fran’s Answer

    Probably no jail -- just make up time and attorney's fees. Harris county jail is so full. If it's first time slap on hand and stern talking to is appropriate.

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  • My daughter has filed for divorce, what form do we need to place an add in the newspaper?

    Her husband left over 5 yrs. ago, have tried family and facebook to reach him. Can she file under abandonment to have his rights taken away while getting divorced?

    Fran’s Answer

    You desperately need a lawyer. Odds are with minor children that the court will appoint an attorney to try to locate him. And, she gets to pay for it! You need to get the following together: His legal name, date of birth, location of birth, social security number, TX driver's license number, all his relatives and friends contact info., any phone numbers he's used in the past 2-5 years, where he went to school, if he has any sort of professional license - any info on that, then the attorney will perform a search for him. You can also write social security and ask them to forward one letter on-to him. If his parents or siblings are alive, then odds are they know where he is. It's so much easier if you can find him and serve him. Good luck!

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  • Living Wills. Can my spouse and I put together a living will on our own?

    My spouse and I have been married for 6 years, together for 10 yrs. We reside in Texas. I own property, two houses, two cars and two bank accounts- none are in my spouses name, only mine. She does not have outside employment and using my credit a...

    Fran’s Answer

    A living will is not what you think. I'd hire an attorney. Be careful using internet forms. If not done properly you will make probate more expensive. And since everything in Texas is community property if purchased during the marriage your wife needs a will too. Otherwise you will have a real mess on your hands if she dies first.

    Free info on

    Don't use websites not based in Texas that are advertised on the radio and TV!

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  • Are there any pro bono family law programs in Houston, TX?

    I'm a new resident in Texas with a child support case in California and I'm looking for a pro bono family law attorney in Houston. Are there any attorneys or programs available that may take pro bono cases?

    Fran’s Answer

    There are many pro bono groups in Houston for Harris County Residents. I have listed them several times on my blog. ( But no pro bono attorney will do a CA case. You need a CA attorney.

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  • How do I respond to an order to show cause if no blank pages to respond were included in the paperwork that I was served?

    I have served my ex-wife OSC papers before, and those forms included blank pages for her to respond to my complaint. She has now served me with an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt against me for not paying child support. I informed h...

    Fran’s Answer

    You can find a free document called "answer" on

    If she filed contemp and asked for jail time then if you are indigent you can ask the judge to hold an indigent hearing appoint a free attorney if judge determines you have no miney. No jail -- no free attorney.

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  • Is there anything we can do if a parent is refusing to give prescribed medication during their time with the child?

    My boyfriend and his ex have been divorced for going on four years now, they have a five year old together and they are joint managing conservators. In the divorce decree it states that they each have the independent right to have the child seen b...

    Fran’s Answer

    If the child is being harmed because the parent is not doing the right thing then the current visitation and rights & duties can be modified.

    The burden is on the non-custodial parent to prove why things should be changed. This is not easy to do. However, if the doctor states that the child was harmed or endangered the current documents can be modified.

    You need a tough, smart experienced family law attorney to help you.

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  • How do I find a lawyer that handles the unsealing of old adoption records?

    My name is Angela, and I am trying to have my mother's adoption records unsealed by the court. She and her parents and sister are all deceased. My father is living and is willing to help me do this but I have yet to find a lawyer that still handle...

    Fran’s Answer

    One idea is to look on my blog and read my post for adult adoptees. - you can get a copy of the original birth certificate through the State of Texas for very little money. There is also an adult adoptee group that meets monthly in Houston. They meet in SW Houston on a Saturday morning. Good luck!

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