We want to make sure you are fully informed before starting the legal process. For your convenience, we have answered questions that we typically receive from our clients. Find out answers to The Valenzuela Law Firm, PC FAQs below:
Personal Injury Cases:
Q: If I am involved in an auto accident, what information should I get from the other driver? A: Get all the information you can, especially a picture of their driver's license. You should also get his or her name, address, license plate number, and insurance information. It is important to get this information and not rely on a police report because it may take the investigating officer some time to get the police report ready. Having this information can help speed up the process.
Q: What if I am involved in an accident at someone's home or a business? A: Again, get as much information as you can, or get someone to get the information for you if you are seriously injured and require immediate medical attention. Normally, if something happens in a business, they will likely produce a written report of the incident. Ask for that information.
Q: Will we have to file a lawsuit? A: Not necessarily, but all cases are different and need to be treated that way. Should a lawsuit be necessary, we will discuss it with you and proceed accordingly.
Q: Do I have to pay attorney's fees? A: Yes, if we prevail in your case. Remember, there is no fee if there is no recovery. Attorney's fees will be discussed with you during your free consultation. We work on a contingency basis for personal injury cases.
Q: How will I be informed of the status of my case? A: You will have a case manager that will handle the day-to-day requirements of your case. He or she will update you and keep track of your case.
Q: What is an uncontested/agreed divorce? A: An uncontested/agreed divorce means that both parties have agreed to be divorced and all issues that can arise during divorce proceedings, such as, how all assets will be divided, who pays any bills, how retirement accounts (if any) will be divided, child custody, child support, visitation, and health care.
Q: How long does it take to get divorced? A: At a minimum, the law requires parties who want to divorce to wait 60 days before moving forward with a final hearing on it. The divorce could take longer depending on the circumstances of the case and the parties' ability to reach an agreement. At least one court appearance is required.
Q: How do I get a court date to finalize my divorce? A: After the mandatory 60-day waiting period, if the parties have agreed and signed all the documents needed to proceed, my office will coordinate with you and schedule a date to appear in court.
Q: What happens when I appear in court to finalize my divorce? A: You will appear with your attorney in front of the judge, and you will answer a few questions.
Q: How should I dress for court? A: You should dress appropriately and neatly. Please don't wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, or flip-flops. Jeans and a collared shirt will be fine.
Q: Where is the court located? A: The Harris County Family Law Courts are located at 201 Caroline, Houston, TX 77002.
Q: Will my spouse need to appear in court to finalize the divorce? A: So long as all issues are agreed and all documents are signed, there will be no need for your spouse to appear in court to finalize the divorce.
Q: What if I don't know where to find my spouse? A: It is best to find your spouse and figure out if he/she will cooperate with the proceedings. TX requires a spouse to be notified of divorce proceedings. Not knowing where your spouse is can complicate the divorce, making it more costly and longer to finalize. Also, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the missing spouse, and that appointed attorney's fees will be your responsibility.
Q: What if my spouse is in prison or jail? A: So long as you have the ability to speak with your spouse and present them with the documents needed for the divorce, the divorce can move forward. They can agree and voluntarily sign the needed documents, or if they don't agree, they will need to be served with papers where they are incarcerated.
Q: What if my wife has had children with someone else since we were married? A: In TX, any child born during a marriage is considered a child of the marriage. The child's biological father would need to sign papers acknowledging paternity or the court could order DNA testing.
Q: How can I change my name or my spouse's name back to their maiden name? A: Name changes can be part of the divorce proceeding; however, our office must be made aware of this at the beginning of the process.
Q: How long after my divorce is final do I have to wait to get remarried? A: Normally, you must wait at least 30 days from the date your final divorce decree is approved and signed by the judge.
Q: Will I be required to take a parenting class? A: If you have children, most courts require the parties to attend a parenting class. We can discuss this further as we work through your case.