Friday, November 30, 2012

Wichita County Jail - Inmate Info

Have a loved one stuck in the Wichita County jail? Want to know what the charges are and how much bail is set? Here's where you need to go for all your Wichita County jail inmate information.

And remember: the Law Office of Bruce Harris ( can bond clients out of jail at no additional charge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wichita Falls Child Support Issues: My Ex isn't Paying Child Support. What do I do?

Many parents in Wichita Falls and the surrounding areas in Wichita County face the recurring issue of not getting the child support ordered to ensure that your child’s needs are satisfied.  You have court orders telling the parent who owes the money (called the "obligor")  exactly how much they have to pay, when they have to pay it, and where they have to make the payment.  Why is it so difficult for them to follow through with this?  Why won’t they just pay for the child that they too are responsible for?  This can be frustrating and often times overwhelming for a lot of parents.  Do not fret because there is a way to fix this issue.  You do have a form of recourse, as the Texas legislature frowns upon parents not supporting their children.

Your local Wichita Falls family law attorney will file a motion for enforcement on your behalf.  In doing so, the attorney can request that the court set the amount of the debt (called "arrearages") and order the obligor to start paying on that arrearage in addition to the current amount of support that they are obligated to pay.  This means, if granted, that an additional amount would then be taken out of the obligor’s check until that arrearage is satisfied.

Your attorney can also ask that the obligor be placed in the county jail and/or fined for their failure to pay child support.  Also, there are additional forms of relief that can be sought.  It truly depends upon the circumstances and what would be most effective. The most important thing, however, is that you need the money that is owed to your child.

If you have a case in which the obligor parent has an outstanding amount in child support, do not let another day go by without consulting with your Wichita Falls family law attorney at the Law Office of Bruce Harris.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wichita Falls Child Custody Issues: What is a Temporary Restraining Order

Many parents in Wichita Falls and the surrounding cities deal with the issue of a temporary restraining order–either you are served with one OR you know that the other parent is involved in something that places your child in danger, but you are not sure what the correct legal process is to protect your child.

Your Wichita Falls family attorney at the Law Office of Bruce Harris advises you that if you believe that the other parent is engaging or has engaged recently in acts that would endanger the child, then you would need to seek a temporary restraining order.

This is an ex parte order which your Wichita Falls family law attorney files on your behalf and attaches an affidavit stating, in your own words, such things as the other parent is consuming controlled substances, has a criminal history, etc.   In doing so, your attorney will request from the judge that the other parent not be allowed to possess or see the child for the time being.  If your affidavit is sufficient (it is a case-by-case determination in which the judge decides if the child will suffer immediate and irreparable harm), then the judge will grant the request and issue a temporary restraining order.  Within that document, the judge will set a hearing within fourteen (14) days to hear from both sides.  At the hearing, the judge will determine whether the temporary restraining order should continue or whether the parent should have some sort of lesser visitation than standard such as supervised.

Temporary restraining orders should not be taken lightly, no matter which side you are currently on.  If you are facing this particular issue, contact your Wichita Falls family attorney at the Law Office of Bruce Harris today.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wichita Falls 101: What to Expect When You're Seeking a Divorce

Divorce is difficult for many reasons.  One reason in particular is that the process is so unknown.  Many people in Wichita Falls and the surrounding areas do not know what to expect when they consult with an attorney regarding a divorce.  In fact, there are several common questions that people typically have during this time.

1)  How do I get my divorce started:  If you do not have a pending case, you will file an Original Petition for Divorce and you typically must have the other party served with this document, along with any notices of hearing.  If the other party is in agreement, after the petition is filed, you can subsequently file a Waiver of Service on their behalf.  If a case is already pending, you will need to file an Answer and possibly a Counterpetition for Divorce if you want to request any additional relief from the court.

2)  What happens next:  The case is typically set for a Temporary Orders hearing so that the judge can make interim temporary orders in the case on such issues as who is going to stay in the home, who is going to pay the mortgage on the home, child support, child visitation, etc.

3)  What happens after the Temporary Orders hearing:  If your Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer has not already done so, he will send what is known as discovery.  There are 4 main types of written discovery–Request for Disclosure, Request for Production, Interrogatories and Request for Admissions.   Your Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer may choose to either send a couple of these or all four, it is truly determined on a case-by-case basis.  Essentially, these discovery tools allow your Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer to do just that–discover the other side’s case and see what evidence, if any, they have to support their claims.

4)  How long do I have to wait before my case is finalized:  The waiting period for a divorce in Texas is 60 days, so you must at least wait this long before your case is finalized.  After a temporary orders hearing, you are able to gauge how things are going.  If you are unopposed to continuing the temporary orders, or just need a few changes, then it is not unlikely that your Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer will try to work out some final orders to this effect.  If you are unhappy with the temporary orders, then you must have a final hearing to finalize your case.  Before you can have a final hearing, all divorce parties in Wichita Falls and the surrounding areas must first submit to a social study and/or mediation.

These are just a few of the main concerns that people have when going through a divorce.  Contact your local Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer at the Law Office of Bruce Harris today to set up a consult for your divorce and discuss any further questions or concerns that you may have.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wichita Falls Divorce Consultation

It’s important to be prepared for your family law consultation. Divorces are a complicated matter, and with the right preparation you can help your attorney not only give effective legal advice, but also prepare to litigate your family case.

How much is a consultation? The Law Office of Bruce Harris is currently offering free family law consultations.

What to bring? Your family lawyer needs to know your financial situation. Debts, assets, liabilities, retirements, credit cards, student loans, mortgage payments, car  loans, tax returns are all important. You should bring as much financial information as possible to your first visit. Your Wichita Falls divorce lawyer will need to help you plan financially for the divorce process.  Together we will need to plan for how you can pay your bills during and after the divorce process.

What else? Any police or CPS records. If your spouse has been convicted it’s important to know the case number and location (county) of the criminal case. If you have emails or text messages you think are important bring those. Social media pages (Facebook, etc) are often useful in divorce litigation, especially if we are pleading a fault divorce (adultery, cruelty etc). You should not access any computer files without permission. Don’t hack into a computer to take information. Just bring what is available.

Who is going to pay for the house during the divorce? The court can make either party, or both parties pay the mortgage and expenses (utilities etc) during the divorce process. That means that the party not living in the house, may still be responsible for paying for the marital home in addition to child support.

What about child support? When will that start? The first hearing is most divorce cases is the temporary orders hearing. At that time child support is usually ordered, or agreed to.