Texas Divorce Law 101 From Start to Finish (2021)

Amir Tavakkoli
Daryl Weinman
Mark Scroggins
Mysti Dennis
Jennifer Varadi
Keith Ashmore
Amir Tavakkoli | The AT Law Office
Daryl Weinman | Weinman & Associates, P.C.
Mark Scroggins | Scroggins Law Group
Mysti Dennis | Cordell & Cordell
Jennifer Varadi | Koons Fuller
Keith Ashmore | Ashmore & Ashmore Law Firm

On-Demand: October 11, 2021

Texas Divorce Law 101 From Start to Finish (2021)
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Program Summary

Session I – Client Interview - Amir Tavakkoli
The process of the client interview/consultation from the initial meet and greet, to the consultation and discussion of finances/fees.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Client interview
  • Consultation
  • Greeting

Session II – Restraining Orders and Protective Orders – Daryl Weinman
The difference between restraining orders and protective orders, the history and evolution of Standing Orders in various Texas counties, and the history of family violence and the various types and effects of protective orders available to victims of family violence.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • The difference between restraining orders and protective orders
  • The history of restraining orders and the evolution of Standing Orders
  • The history of family violence in Texas and evolution and various types of protective orders.

Session III - Temporary orders - Mark L. Scroggins
Temporary Orders in Divorce – what is and can be decided in a Temporary Order hearing – temporary conservatorship, possession and access, child support, who lives where, who pays what, interim attorney fees, child custody evaluations, psychological evaluations or parties and children, appointment of parenting facilitators. Can you get a second bite at the apple?

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Temporary orders during divorce with children
  • Temporary orders during divorce without children

Session IV – Discovery - Mark L. Scroggins
The use of traditional and non-traditional discovery in family law matters.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Subpoenas
  • Business records affidavits
  • All other kinds of discovery that can be utilized as well as the traditional written discovery
  • Depositions and new electronic discovery that is available

Session V - Division of Marital Estate - Mark L. Scroggins
How is the marital estate divided in a community property state? How do determine what is community property, what is separate property and what do you do if assets are co-mingled? What experts are needed depending on the assets of the estate?

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Community Property
  • Separate property
  • Co-mingled
  • Tracing
  • Use of experts

Session VI – Child Custody & Support – Mysti L. Dennis
General overview of information necessary to establish your client as the primary joint managing conservator or sole managing conservator. What factors the courts consider in making the determination and how to position your client for success. How to utilize the family code in securing child support in excess of the child support guidelines and what to consider if you have parties who earn (or less than) the minimum wage.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Best Interest of the Child
  • Holly Factors (determining primary conservatorship)
  • Above Guideline Child Support
  • Legislative Changes on Support for Low Income Payors

Session VII - Alternative Dispute Resolution-Settlement Agreements – Jennifer Varadi
The alternative ways to reach a resolution for your client, outside of stepping into a court room. The benefits of mediation or arbitration and how to protect your clients in obtaining a fair settlement while protecting important interests and rights.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Creative Settlement Agreements

Session VIII – Filings & Pleadings – KC Ashmore
The course will focus on the specific challenges, and complications that come from advocating in cases where (whether original divorce proceedings or suits affecting the parent child relationship, and other general litigation situations), where there are allegations that require appropriate diligence and thorough investigation to ensure that they are brought in good faith and based on fact and have merit.

The course will focus on definitions explaining and discussing the differences at the granular level of basic pleading and the heightened pleading requirements that may be required depending on specific areas of law, example family law.

Moreover, the course will focus in part, on how to communicate effectively, to your clients so that they understand in plain English the often confusing positions that are staked out in court pleadings. The course will focus on how to break this information down, so that clients, even sophisticated clients can fully comprehend the claims allegations defenses affirmative defenses being position by themselves, and opposing parties in the litigation, especially where heighten pleading requirements are required, for example Family Court.

With regards to specific pleadings brought in Family Law Matter‘s where there are issues related to toxic and unhealthy parental relationships/abuse relating to children-the course will focus on specific pleading and persuasion requirements for relief requesting attorneys to be appointed for the children and the protection of the health, safety, welfare and best interest standards of the children.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Petition
  • Complaint
  • Answer
  • General Denial
  • Counter petition

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Amir Tavakkoli_The AT Law Office_myLawCLEAmir Tavakkoli | The AT Law Office

Amir Tavakkoli, founder of the firm, was the Vice President of his law school class and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Amir received his associate degree from Lone Star Community College and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a double degree in Political Science and Sociology. His legal and political experiences include working with Judge Kyle Carter in the 125th Harris County Civil Courthouse, U.S. Representative Al Green, State Representative Garnet Coleman, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and the Houston Bar Association. Amir was also a research assistant at his law school.

Amir was an active member of the international moot court team while in law school and competed nationally. He also served as an associate member and later as the research assistant for the Thurgood Marshall Law Review. He has been able to publish several articles with the Journal of Law and Social Deviance, Arizona Summit Law Review, Indiana University’s PublicInReview, and the Student Appeal. Amir has also set aside time to volunteer at various organizations including volunteering at St. Luke Hospital’s emergency room, spending time with seriously ill children being treated in Texas Medical Center member institutions, and working for the Habitat for Humanity. Amir has successfully tried judge and jury cases in family, criminal, and civil matters.


Daryl G. Weinman_Weinman & Associates, P.C._myLawCLEDaryl G. Weinman
| Weinman & Associates, P.C.

Certified as a specialist in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since December of 2000 and focusing her practice exclusively on that area of the law, Daryl G. Weinman is the founder of Weinman & Associates, P.C. Based in Austin and representing clients throughout the region, she is admitted to practice in Texas, New York and Colorado. Ms. Weinman is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

The majority of Ms. Weinman’s practice is centered on divorce and its related issues, including child custody and visitation, spousal and child support, and the division of marital assets and debts. A forceful courtroom advocate for her clients when litigation is unavoidable, her background in mediation often allows her to help them come to an accord on these matters through the use of that alternative dispute resolution method. For her clients who have already gone through a divorce, Ms. Weinman assists them in obtaining modifications to existing parenting and support court orders. Other family law matters that she has handled have included the preparation of prenuptial and post-marital agreements, adoptions, and paternity establishment and disputes. Her successful track record in all of these endeavors have earned Ms. Weinman a 10.0 “Superb” peer review rating through Avvo.

An active participant in several professional organizations, Ms. Weinman’s memberships include the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Law sections of the State Bar of Texas, The American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators, the National Association of Divorce Professionals, and the Texas Family Law Foundation. She also served on the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee for six years.  A graduate of Colgate University, where she majored in economics and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1988, she subsequently attended New York Law School and was awarded her Juris Doctor in 1994.


Mark L. Scroggins_Scroggins Law Group_myLawCLEMark L. Scroggins
| Scroggins Law Group

Mark L. Scroggins is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he is an aggressive and experienced trial attorney with a sound understanding of business matters that serves him well in family law. An accomplished speaker and author, Mr. Scroggins has practiced family law throughout the state of Texas for 28 years. He has written about family law matters for Texas Lawyer and has spoken about litigation technology before numerous organizations and corporate clients. Mr. Scroggins has a unique background in cutting-edge litigation technology, which is utilized by the entire Firm to increase the benefit to its litigation clients.

Honors:
2021 – Super Lawyer – Texas monthly Magazine
2020 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2019 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2019 – Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
2018 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2018 – Nation’s Top One Percent – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
2017 – Nation’s Top One Percent – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
2017 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2016 – Nation’s Top One Percent – National Association of Distinguished Counsel 2016 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2016 – Nation’s Top One Percent – National Association of Distinguished Counsel 2015 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2015 – Nation’s Top One Percent – National Association of Distinguished Counsel 2015 – 10 Best in Texas – American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
2014 – Super Lawyer – Texas Monthly Magazine
2003 – Top Attorneys for Women – Vogue Magazine


Mysti L. Dennis_Cordell & Cordell_myLawCLEMysti L. Dennis
|Cordell & Cordell

Mysti L. Dennis began practicing family law to help families recover and heal from the devastation of life changes. “When you’re dealing with the people you love most in life everyone needs someone to help protect their interests and guide them to a place of healing and recovery,” Ms. Dennis said. It is imperative to a case that there is open and honest communication between a client and his attorney. That’s why Ms. Dennis thinks being candid at all times, whether a client wants to hear it or not, is one of her defining characteristics that makes her a successful attorney. One of her more memorable successful cases was having her client awarded primary custody of his child after proving the mother, who was awarded custody under temporary orders, was not properly fit to be the primary caregiver. “I feel most passionate about custody cases,” Ms. Dennis said. “I believe that every parent has the right to participate in the life of their children to the fullest extent.” Licenses Ms. Dennis is licensed to practice law in Texas and the Southern District of Texas. She is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Education Ms. Dennis received her Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (1995) and her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School (1998). She also received her Master of Laws from University of Houston Law Center (2007). Associations Ms. Dennis belongs to the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section; Houston Family Law Group; Houston Lawyers Association; and Gulf Coast Family Law Specialist


Jennifer Varadi_Koons Fuller_myLawCLEJennifer Varadi
| Koons Fuller

Jennifer Varadi obtained her B.A in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and attended law school at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas where she has remained since graduating in 2014. Jennifer has focused her entire legal practice on family law matters, including but not limited to, contentious custody cases, enforcements, and child support matters. Additionally, she has valuable experience in complex property division and preparing premarital and postmarital agreements, which help her clients adequately prepare for their future.

Jennifer is adept at litigation, but as a certified and experienced mediator, she understands that the best results may be reached without stepping into a courtroom, including arrangements personalized to the individual family and a division of assets and liabilities that set the client on a path for future success.

Jennifer was selected as a Texas Rising Star in 2021 and was named one of Houston’s Top Lawyers by H-Texas Magazine in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Jennifer also serves as a Director for the Houston Bar Association, Family Law Section, is a member of Texas Bar College and Houston Young Lawyers Association, and she is a member of the State Bar of Texas.


Keith Charles “KC” Ashmore_Ashmore & Ashmore Law Firm_myLawCLEKeith Charles “KC” Ashmore
|Ashmore & Ashmore Law Firm

KC Ashmore has strived to provide every client the highest level of service, whatever and whenever their needs arise. KC is proud to serve our community in a number of ways, but chiefly as a volunteer in the Rockwall Bar Association’s Board of Directors, as a former 3 time chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Home Project, benefiting Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, as a volunteer builder/coordinator for Habitat’s project in Terrell, Texas, as an officer in the DFW-South Texas College of Law Alumni Association, and working with Veteran’s history groups in Dallas and Rockwall Counties. KC has served a variety of individuals, businesses, designers, corporations, employers, and manufacturers in all kinds of litigation matters, including criminal matters, assault family violence cases, family disputes, wills and estate matters, complex white collar criminal matters, and all forms of business contract disputes (including agreements related to non-competes, non-solicitation, misappropriation of trade secrets, theft/conversion of trade secrets, product liability, business divorce/dissolution, shareholder oppression, contractor rights on public and private projects, creditors rights in Bankruptcy, municipal contracts, seizure of property and foreclosures, etc. KC has had the privilege to represent individuals and owners of companies in the rotationally molded plastics industry, automotive and heavy truck manufacturing, marine, power generation, HVAC, diesel, fluid engineering and control, and petrochemical fields. KC has extensive experience and has achieved favorable results for clients as an advocate briefing and arguing innovative points of law, including jurisdictional challenges, defending clients accused of serious offenses that threaten their liberty, as well as due process matters (Equitable Bill of Review/Restricted Appeal), discovery disputes, summary judgment practice, evidentiary and expert challenges, trial briefs and appeals, third party liability claims, as well as comprehensive investigation and deposition experience, including taking and defending complex fact, expert, party and non-party witness depositions in multi-party litigation. KC has experience prosecuting and defending various industrial, plastics (roto-mold, or rotationally molded plastics, as well as other plastic manufacturers), automotive, heavy equipment machinery manufacturers, etc., in contract disputes as well as representing individuals in component part product-liability and other claims. KC’s experience in these contract and tort claims (property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death cases) has included nationwide participation in the discovery process, voluminous document inspections/productions, product/site inspections, discovery matters and disputes, etc. KC also has experience in manufacturing plant negligence cases brought by contractors, as well as employment related matters. KC had the distinction to serve two terms as a Judicial Clerk on one of Texas’ highest appellate courts, The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. At the Court, KC’s duties included analyzing voluminous appeals, including capital crimes, for constitutional error, researching/drafting court and scholarly memoranda regarding complex legal issues ranging from search and seizure, lesser included offenses, actual innocence claims, capital punishment, constitutional derivations from Miranda laws, jury selection, and punishment enhancements. KC also had the privilege to serve as a law clerk at Texas’ 165th Civil District Court, managing the court’s dispositive motion docket and briefing each and every issue where relief was sought as a matter of law, developing a uniform briefing process, and memorializing rulings on specific issues to increase efficiency and conserve judicial resources. KC is a proud veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Search and Rescue, Semper Paratus 1992-96. KC Ashmore is married and lives in Rockwall, Texas with his wife and children, and enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, motorcycling, and supporting his community through Habitat for Humanity building projects and other endeavors.

Agenda

Session I – Client Interview | 11:00am – 12:00am
I. Client interview process from the initial phone call or office visit to schedule a consultation for a potential client | 11:00am– 11:12am
II. The time they show up, the meet and greet | 11:12am – 11:24am
III. The legal consultation | 11:24am – 11:36am
IV. The fees | 11:36am – 11:48am
V. Follow ups with the client | 11:48am – 12:00pm

Break | 12:00pm – 12:10pm

Session II – Restraining Orders and Protective Orders | 12:10pm – 1:10pm
I. The difference between restraining orders and protective orders | 12:10pm – 12:30pm
II. The history of restraining orders and the evolution of Standing Orders | 12:30pm – 12:50pm
III. The history of family violence in Texas and evolution and various types of protective orders | 12:50pm – 1:10pm

Break | 1:10pm-1:20pm

Session III – Temporary orders | 1:20pm – 2:00pm
I. Temporary orders during divorce with children | 1:20pm – 1:40pm
II. Temporary orders during divorce without children | 1:40pm – 2:00pm

Session IV – Discovery | 2:00pm – 2:50pm
I. Subpoenas | 2:00pm – 2:10pm
II. Business records affidavits | 2:10pm – 2:20pm

Break | 2:20pm – 2:30pm

III. All other kinds of discovery that can be utilized as well as the traditional written discovery | 2:30pm – 2:40pm
IV. Depositions and new electronic discovery that is available | 2:40pm – 2:50pm

Session V – Division of Marital Estate | 2:50pm – 3:30pm
I. Community Property | 2:50pm – 2:58pm
II. Separate property | 2:58pm – 3:06pm
III. Co-mingled | 3:06pm – 3:14pm
IV. Tracing | 3:14pm – 3:22pm
V. Use of experts | 3:22pm – 3:30pm

Lunch break | 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Session VI – Child Custody & Support | 4:00pm – 5:00pm
I. Best Interest of the Child | 4:00pm – 4:15pm
II. Holly Factors (determining primary conservatorship) | 4:15pm – 4:30pm
III. Above Guideline Child Support | 4:30pm – 4:45pm
IV. Legislative Changes on Support for Low Income Payors | 4:45pm – 5:00pm

Break | 5:00pm – 5:10pm

Session VII – Alternative Dispute Resolution-Settlement Agreements | 5:10pm – 6:10pm
I. Mediation | 5:10pm – 5:30pm
II. Arbitration | 5:30pm – 5:50 pm
III. Creative Settlement Agreements | 5:50 pm – 6:10pm

Break | 6:10pm – 6:20pm

Session VIII – Filings & Pleadings | 6:20pm – 6:50pm
I. Petition | 6:20pm – 6:25pm
II. Complaint | 6:25pm – 6:30pm
III. Answer | 6:30pm – 6:35pm
IV. General Denial | 6:35pm – 6:40pm
V. Counter petition | 6:40pm – 6:45pm
VI. Ethics | 6:45pm – 6:50pm