Family Law Resources

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Attorney Jillian French now offering mediations

Vaught Law Office is pleased to announce that Attorney Jillian French is now offering mediations.  Attorney French joined the firm in January and brings extensive experience in all types of family law, including divorce, child support, child custody and military divorce.

Attorney French can be scheduled for mediation by calling our office at 512-605-0999 or booking through this link.  Mediations with Attorney French are billed at $225 an hour, which is generally split equally by both parties.  To book a mediation, at least one party must be represented by a lawyer.

We are pleased to offer mediation services to attorneys and their clients involved in a divorce or other contested family law matter.  Currently, we are offering divorce and child custody mediations via video conference.

Our firm believes that mediation can be an effective way for individuals involved in a divorce, child custody dispute or other contested family law matter to come to an agreement before they go to court. Mediation can reduce the cost of a long court battle and reduce the stress on all parties involved.

Corona Virus

Covid-19 and Central Texas Courts: What You Need to Know Part 2


Covid-19 Update

Since our last post on Covid-19 and Central Texas Courts, the Supreme Court has issued several Emergency Orders addressing possession and exchanges. Additionally, many of the counties in Central Texas have issued additional orders regarding court proceedings.

The Supreme Court Orders can be found at this link: http://txcourts.gov/media/coronavirus-covid-19-emergency-orders/. Emergency Order No. 2 clarified that school closures did not extend Spring Break possession periods. Emergency Order No. 3 provided that in person hearings should not be conducted at this time which created the need for video hearings discussed more in depth below. Emergency Order No. 7 states that possession exchanges do not cease due to stay at home or shelter in place orders.

One March 27th Travis County extended their court closure for in person hearings to May 11, 2020. Williamson County issued a Second Order on April 1, 2020 cancelling all family law jury trials through June 30th and outlining the procedure to request an electronic hearing in the meantime. Several surrounding counties have cancelled in person hearings through April 30th. Additionally, Governor Abbott clarified his statewide order last Wednesday indicating that it is a stay at home order through April 30th except for essential functions such as going to the grocery store.

Many courts have chosen Zoom as their virtual hearing platform. Zoom hearings require that an email be sent to each participant. There is the option to also require a password in order to enter a hearing in which case that password would be provided to the participants. Also, many hosts have people automatically go to a “waiting room” in Zoom so the participants are not all admitted to the hearing at once. Should a Zoom hearing be scheduled in your case, please consult with your attorney on how to use Zoom and be cautious in using any chat functions if they are enabled.

Williamson County has opted for Microsoft Teams as their platform. Much like Zoom, it is a videoconference software and an email invitation is sent to all participants to join in the hearing.

What does all of this mean? It means that possession should continue per any current court orders including exchanges and the schedule should be based on the originally scheduled school calendar. It also means that the attorney in your case may have to submit a request for a virtual hearing in your case that may or may not be taken up at this time. In many counties, the requests are sent in to the court administrator or court coordinator and a decision is made on whether a hearing needs to be scheduled right now or if it will have to wait until in person hearings can be conducted. Of course, hearings of an emergency nature are still being taken up and heard.

While hearings may not be available in every case, there are other productive tasks that can be completed during this quarantine that can push your case forward or get your case started. Contact an experienced family law attorney today to see what your options are and how we can help. As always, here at Vaught Law Firm we understand and we can help.

Corona Virus

Covid-19 and Central Texas Courts: What You Need to Know

The Texas Supreme Court issued an order on Friday, March 13, 2020 allowing courts across the state to extend deadlines, suspend hearings, allow electronic appearances in hearings that must be conducted, and allows the courts to “Take any other reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19.” Travis County issued an Emergency Order for all Travis County Civil and Family Courts on March 13, 2020. Travis County has suspended all in person non-emergency hearings until April 13, 2020. The order goes on to say that this includes “all jury trials, non-jury trials and all non-essential hearings in the family and civil courts. All non-emergency hearings currently scheduled for the next four weeks are hereby postponed and will need to be rescheduled to a later date through Court Administration.” Williamson County also issued and order on March 13, 2020 providing that essential proceedings will continue and anyone with a family law case set between March 16, 2020 – April 1, 2020 will receive specific information regarding the case from the Court Administrator.

So, what does this mean for you and your hearings? What if an emergency arises? This means that any hearing that is a non-emergency hearing such as a hearing on a writ, temporary restraining order, or protective order will be suspended and need to be scheduled, or rescheduled, for a date after the time periods listed for each county. If an emergency hearing needs to be set during the suspension, each county has a different procedure on how that may be accomplished. You will need to discuss your options with your attorney if a need for an emergency hearing arises.

What about possession? Several of the courts around the state have issued opinions or orders advising that possession should proceed under the originally published school calendar. This means if a school district issues an “extension” of Spring Break, that does not mean possession extends for the entire time school is out. Additionally, this means that Thursday periods of possession follow the originally published school calendar and should resume after the originally scheduled Spring Break.

How can we help? Vaught Law Firm is offering current clients and potential clients meetings by telephonic appointment and video conferencing (where accessible). Vaught Law Firm is committed to assisting those in need of advice from experienced attorneys and stand ready to assist even in this time of COVID-19 isolation. Call us today at 512-342-9980 to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced Austin divorce and family law attorneys today.

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Attorney Jillian French joins Vaught Law Firm

Vaught Law Firm, P.C. is proud to welcome Attorney Jillian French as the newest addition to their staff of family law attorneys serving Austin and surrounding areas.

Attorney French joins the Vaught Law Firm P.C. with more than 5 years of experience in the field of family law, most recently as a divorce litigation attorney at Cordell & Cordell. A graduate of St. Edward’s University in Austin with a major in political science, Jillian earned her juris doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.

Jimmy Vaught, owner of Vaught Law Firm P.C. said “I am so pleased that we are adding Jillian French to our firm.  Her knowledge and experience will enhance the client experience at Vaught Law Firm, P.C.”

Vaught Law Firm P.C. practices exclusively in family law in the Austin area. Our attorneys help men and women with cases involving divorce, custody and visitation, prenuptial agreements, as well as mediation and collaborative law. The attorneys and staff are committed to serving their clients with dignity and empathy during difficult situations.  In addition, Attorney French brings a vast knowledge of military divorce and military family law issues.

According to Attorney French, “I am so excited to join such a well respected firm and have a mentor like Jimmy. He is a published CLE author, appellate lawyer, and an amazing mediator. I am looking forward to growing as an attorney with the help of the whole Vaught team.”

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