Our practice areas are built around the kinds of legal issues that often challenge working people and families. We begin every case by carefully listening to you, our client, to understand your wants and needs and the circumstances of your situation. Listening with understanding and care enables us to provide you with alternatives to resolving your problem as quickly as possible, and bring with it a sense of relief that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
We are proud to provide you with highly competent and compassionate representation in areas of:
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
At the law office of William Shen, we look out for what is best for you and your children during divorce proceedings. We want you to work out the complex issues with your spouse at a mediation table, not in a courtroom, if at all possible.
We offer three kinds of services for divorce:
If you and your spouse have completely resolved all issues, and can pursue an uncontested divorce, Express Divorce may be for you. For a one-time, up-front flat fee of $2000, Express Divorce offers the following:
Attorney's time to fully understand your situation, review, process and finalize your divorce
Preparation of all forms according to state and local regulations and customs
Step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the entire process, from initial filing to final decree
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse are able to agree on all issues. You agree upon property division, child custody, visitation, child support and alimony. While you agree on these important matters, it is still wise to have attorney representation. The law office of William Shen, can ensure your rights are protected as you reach settlement agreements to your uncontested divorce.
Our attorneys provide attentive, knowledgeable guidance throughout the divorce process. Decisions are being made about your future and your children's futures. We offer the services you need to ensure these decisions are made in your and your children's best interests.Law Office of William Shen can assist with the following:
Property division: We ensure division of marital property are handled in your favor.
Child custody, visitation and support: As a parent who is experiencing a divorce, we know you have many concerns regarding the care of your children.
Spousal support: Spousal support is not awarded in every divorce. We can assess each client's unique needs or ability to pay.
In litigation, many divorces proceed through the following sequential steps.
Petition for Divorce
A Petition for Divorce must be filed in the county of your residence or that of your spouse. There must be a showing of domicile in Texas for at least 6 months and residency in the county of the suit for at least 90 days. A Petition may include a request for a Temporary Restraining Order and other orders as explained below.
Serving the Petition
The other party is served with the Petition and is required to file an Answer. The other party may also file a Counter-Petition.
Upon the filing of the petition, either party may request temporary orders that either permit or prohibit one or both parties from doing certain things, such as, unnecessarily spending or interfering with the other party's use of property. Temporary Orders establish "ground rules" for the conduct of the parties while the case is pending.
Discovery is the process of documenting the facts pertinent to the case. During discovery, each provides information requested by the other party. This typically includes financial records from the past five years, such as income tax returns, bank statements, employment records, and life insurance policies. The parties also disclose the names of fact and expert witnesses who may testify at trial.
Mediation can occur at any point in the litigation process but in most cases, mediation follows the discovery phase. It is required in Travis County if the final hearing will last more than three hours.
Depositions are a form of discovery in which the person being deposed answers questions, under oath, that an attorney asks. Each party may take the deposition of the other party and witnesses. The witnesses may include employers, doctors, counselors, neighbors, and family members. Depositions of the children's counselors and teachers may also be required.
Final Preparation for Trial
About a month before trial, both parties submit pre-trial documents to the court which set out how they want the various issues, such as property division and child support, resolved by the court. The complexities of the issues usually determines how much time will be devoted to trial preparation. Much more time will be spent in trial preparation than in the actual trial. This preparation includes talking with witnesses, preparing exhibits, and drafting direct and cross examination questions, as well as anticipating and preparing to meet the tactics and strategy of the opposition.
At the trial of the divorce case, each party presents evidence on the contested issues in the case. Determination of the separate property of a party, division of the community property and liabilities, and determine the validity and meaning of premarital and post-marital agreements are some of the most common contested issues in a divorce case. If minor children are involved, the contested issues will include the rights and duties of each parent, who the child or children will reside with, whether child support will be paid and the amount of child support, and the time sharing schedule.
At trial, each party testifies under oath about facts that are relevant to the contested issues. Each party may also call witnesses to testify. Typically documents relevant to one or more of the issues are offered into evidence, the judge announces the decision on each of the disputed issues and pronounces the parties divorced.
After trial, the attorney for one of the parties must prepare a Final Decree of Divorce which contains the decisions that were about the issues in the case. The judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce.
A party who is disappointed with the Court's decision or who feels a mistake of law has been made may initiate the appeal process within 30 days after a Final Decree is signed by the Court.