Thursday, November 21, 2013

I can tell that the holiday season is almost here!

I can always tell when the holidays are almost here!

No it's not the cooler's the number of frantic phone calls for people wanting to see their children for the upcoming holidays & the other parent won't cooperate.

How sad for the children...

Around November 15th, I start receiving lots of phone calls from desperate people that are having problems arranging their Thanksgiving and/or Christmas vacation time with their children and the number of questions asked on free sites jumps up dramatically!

Each of these people think that they are the ONLY people on the planet with these problems.
They need help right now!  They are desperate!  They expect to see a judge NOW!

Ah the holidays!  When children of parents no longer together get to see their parents behaving badly.  When the police get called out to homes and many parents get arrested for assaulting the other parent!  It brings out the worst in many parents!  Again, how sad for the children.

Unfortunately, the courts close down for the holidays and the judges go home to spend time with their families.  So it is impossible to get an "emergency hearing" in front of a judge if you cannot arrange to see your child for the holidays at the last minute.

If you have been having problems with the other parent for months, then you need to document this very carefully and plan on hiring an attorney.  You will probably get a hearing in January or February and you will get make-up visits.  The other parent might be punished by having to pay your legal fees and/or jail time.

Of course, you might consider asking for custody of the children.  But you need to document, document, document.  You need to build a strong, solid case -- not just one violation but a series of violations -- the more the better.  Hire a tough, smart family law attorney to help you - then sit back and follow your attorney's advice.  It will probably take months -- but it's worth it.

As a mediator, I am always willing to try to resolve these matters...but I cannot force the other parent to participate in mediation!

Many people call me & somehow think that I have some "magic fairy dust" that will suddenly make the other parent a reasonable and caring parent.  I don't.  If I did...I could sell it for a lot of money and be very, very wealthy!

I always encourage mediation before litigation...but you cannot force a person to cooperate.

Happy Holidays!

Please be reasonable!  Think of your kids!  They are watching you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harris County Law Library Information

The Harris County Law Library is now located at 1019 Congress Street on the first floor of the building.  It is in the building where people when when they were called for jury duty.  Their phone number is 755-5183.  They are open Monday through Friday from 8 am - 7 pm.

They have free wifi, e-filing service, and computers for everyone's use.

There is a privately owned company, ServiceDocs Inc. that runs a full reprographic services company in the Law Library.  They provide notary services for a fee.  Black and white copies cost 10 cents per copy.  If you want color copies, then it costs 50 cents per copy.

There is also a privately owned coffee shop with light snacks, The Congress Cafe, located in the lobby of the Law Library.

There are 5 computers with free access to WestlawNext for legal research databases and LexisNexis Shephard's Citations.  HeinOnline including hundreds of journals and law reviews. IntelliConnect legal research databases.  RIA's CheckPoint databases, including federal and state tax resources and Harris County Law Library's Online Public Access Catalog.

Anyone with a Harris County Public Library Card can check out books that they have reserved from the Harris County Public Library at this location.  Any books that have been checked out can be returned at this location.

But the books belonging to the Harris County Law Library cannot be checked out by anyone. Everyone is free to use books belonging to the Harris County Law Library but none of their books are able to be removed from the Law Library.  

Apparently since they moved into this new location, the Harris County Law Library has seen an increase in people coming into the library of over 60%.