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Leigh Vance De La Reza
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Leigh De La Reza’s Answers

27 total

  • What divorce papers should I use?

    I want to get divorced. I already have child support and have visitation/custody rights put into place via the child support due to the medicaid I receive. I just want the divorce part done. I don't know where he is. He won't give me contact infor...

    Leigh’s Answer

    A "no fault" divorce doesn't mean that you don't need his consent. "No Fault" means that you are not alleging a statutory reason for the divorce--such as adultery, cruelty, etc. You may be able to default him if he fails to respond to a citation--but he needs to be properly served. If you have child support in place the AG probably has an address for him. Any property, any asset--that includes debt, belongs to both of you if it was acquired during the marriage regardless of who's name it's in unless that property is separate property. Generally, separate property is assets (or debt) that you had prior to marriage, was a gift, or inheritance (that's the quick answer, it can be more complicated). There is no legal separation in Texas, so it's a bad idea to have a long term separation from someone. You could face dividing assets you acquired during those 8 years that you didn't live together--even if only your name is on it. You need legal assistance. Shop around and hire an attorney you can afford to help you divorce him the right way. Divorce can be complicated and you could make irreversible mistakes --it's not just a fill in the blank form.

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  • How can I get a divorce from a man I can't find? It has been 13 years since his deportation.

    My husband and I were married April 18, 1997 on his birthday. On the application for a marriage license he used the SS# of someone else who was a legal resident. My husband was an illegal. I filed for divorce from my husband in 2001; he counter su...

    Leigh’s Answer

    There are some additional steps that you need to do in a service by publication. I'd suggest hiring an attorney, if you can't afford an attorney then at least talk to the Travis County Law Library. You'll need to file a motion for substituted service, plus an affidavit of non-military service. Then you need a local paper to post the citation. When you default him, you'll need a divorce decree prepared and you need to make sure that you put the default on the record.

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  • Would this be viewed by a judge as "unstable" in a custody case?

    If my ex is 29, has lived at home with her parents for the last 3 years, has a 53 year old boyfriend who has 20+ violent felonies (last one was in the early 90's) and swastika tattoos, is intentionally underemployed (has worked 15 hours a week for...

    Leigh’s Answer

    The court may consider the violent felonies of the boyfriend to be important. There is a new case that came out in recently "Kittman v. Miller" in which the court of appeals said that the two year statute of limitations on domestic violence in the family code only applies to original proceedings and to the parties in the case. In other words, even though the boyfriend's felonies were in the early 90s they may still be relevant to the case.

    I have also found the court to be concerned with excessive tardies. You should consult with an attorney in your area to talk about your case in greater detail.

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  • Do I need AOP for divorce, if biological father is on child's birth certificate and husband is not.

    AOP is Acknowledgment of Paternity. Common law Husband and I had been separated for some time, but never divorced. Have been living with child's father for some time, who has obviously been providing support. I thought signature of bio...

    Leigh’s Answer

    A lot of people misunderstand common law marriage. You have to meet 3 elements at the same time to be common law: 1) man and woman agree to be married, 2) live together as husband and wife, 3) hold themselves out as husband and wife. Then if you meet those 3 elements, there is a statute of limitations to file for divorce, "if a divorce petition is not commenced before the 2nd anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together then it is a rebuttable presumption that they did not enter into an agreement to be married." Texas Family Code 2.401(b).

    To establish parentage between a father and child he would need to sign an acknowledgment of paternity and file it with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

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  • 60/40 custody child support

    We had a non contested divorce. No child support on record to be paid. I make roughly 50,000 a year and i give her 300 a month out of courtesy. But it is putting me in a financial crunch and i know if i stop giving it to her she will go through th...

    Leigh’s Answer

    In Texas there is a guideline for child support. It is possible to go above the guideline in some circumstances that I won't go into here. But to give you a general idea of what you'd pay, look at your net income (gross income after taxes) then take 20% of that for one child, 25% of that for two children, 30% for three children. That will give you a general idea. You may be paying union dues, or health insurance that could be deducted off of the gross income, but I would need to see an actual pay stub.

    If you cover health insurance for the child then you'll get a slight credit for that. If she covers health insurance then you could pay cash medical support to her, or to the state if the child is on medicaid.

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  • Can I get custody over my 15 years old sister and my 13 year old brother?

    My mom is an unfit mother who would give her own child away before she would give away her dogs. I am 18 and I would like to get custody of my little brother and sister they lived in their car for over a year I would like to get them into my house...

    Leigh’s Answer

    There are situations in which a non-parent can get custody over a child. I would recommend having a consultation with a family law attorney to discuss in more detail and determine if your situation fits the statutory requirements. The attorney will want to know if you have had actual care, custody, and control of your siblings, and if so, how long. He/she will also want to know what the circumstances of their care has been. If your siblings are being abused, neglected, or in danger then contact child protective services.

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  • How do I file for emergency custody of my children when I am in Texas and their mother lives in Colorado? The children are curr

    I ahve a lawyer in Colorado that helped me keep them for the 2013-2014 School year. She tried to get the judge to allow them to stay longer but the judge denied to hear the case because they were separate issues. I feel I need to take action in ...

    Leigh’s Answer

    The first thing you need to do is talk to a family law attorney and have him/her review any prior orders that are in place and discuss the facts of your case in greater detail. I would need more information to properly answer your question, but clearly there is a potential jurisdiction issue that will likely fall under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). There are provisions under the act for temporary emergency jurisdiction, but you need to talk to someone in more depth to know if your case would fit the requirements. Are the children in danger? Were they abandoned? etc., etc. An experienced family law attorney should be able to tell you if you need to file in Colorado or Texas after a consultation. Jurisdiction issues can be complex and you would definitely need an attorney.

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  • Can my ex-husband have sex with my daughter in the house?

    Recently my daughter, 12 years old, has told me that she can hear her father and step-mom having sex when she is there. I have spoken with him about it and asked him to stop. This past weekend she said she could her them moaning and breathing heav...

    Leigh’s Answer

    There is nothing you can legally do, if it's true. It is possible that it's not true. Lots of kids play their parents against each other, or say things that aren't true because they will get a certain response out of a parent, or they are mad that a parent has a new spouse, or they know their parent is mad that the other parent has remarried, etc. I would be wary of jumping to the conclusion that it is true and even more cautious about saying he is committing sexual abuse. If you are really concerned then send her to counseling.

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  • When filing for diy divorce what forms do you use if you have no children with husband but have child with another man

    I need to know what forms I file when I want a diy divorce but no children with husband but children with another man during separation

    Leigh’s Answer

    You would still file an Original Petition for Divorce but you need to include a provision that the child was born during the marriage, but is not the child of the spouse. I would also hire counsel, or at least talk to an attorney about your rights.

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  • In my divorce my ex put a clause in our papers stating that I can't move our daughter out of state.

    He hasn't seen or spoken to our daughter in over a year. How hard will it be to convince the court to let me move our daughter out of state?

    Leigh’s Answer

    There are specific factors that the court (or jury) will look at. The public policy is that parents will have frequent and continuing contact with their children, if you move out of state it's probably going to be difficult for the child's father to see her. If he never sees her anyway, then that would be something you would want the court to know. Residency restriction cases are not easy and you need competent representation by an attorney who practices family law. I would probably hire local counsel as well, because you're going to need someone who understands the judges in your county.

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