Divorce is a difficult period in anybody’s life. In our area, many couples wish to avoid the expense and emotional toll of fighting throughout the process and feel that they can come to a mutual understanding without the need to hire a New Braunfels divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce. However, there are several crucial issues related to any divorce, including uncontested divorce, that a qualified attorney will identify and address to avoid running into inevitable problems in the future. Not hiring an attorney is rarely advisable. This is particularly true the longer the marriage lasts, when there are children involved, and the more assets accumulated.


Usually for a flat fee, a qualified San Antonio uncontested divorce lawyer will explain issues related to property division, child custody and support, spousal support, preparation of the divorce petition and final decree, name changes, tax issues and other related matters. Addressing all of these questions from the outset with an attorney will save time and money in the future when these matters inevitably come up if left ambiguous or unaddressed.

Property Division
Even though spouses may think that they have worked out an acceptable division of property for both sides, a lawyer may help point out issues that parties don’t realize exist. For example, it is important to know that despite a divorce decree that assigns a marital debt to one spouse, creditors can still seek payment of the debt from both spouses since they are not bound by the decree. A divorce attorney will help identify better solutions that will not expose clients to debts and other liabilities that their ex-spouse has agreed to undertake.

In other cases, an ex-spouse may fail to disclose assets that make the agreed-to division disadvantageous for the other spouse. A good attorney will protect their client by requiring that both parties file sworn statements of their assets that can later be used to prove that fraud in obtaining the divorce settlement. For more discussion of these issues, please see our related blog posts related blog posts here.

Child Support and Custody
Child support and custody issues are complicated and dealing with the process is made easier with the advice of an attorney. Legal professionals in our area can explain child custody laws in Bexar County and the concept of conservatorship. This includes issues like which conservator has the right to determine the child’s residence, what geographic restrictions Bexar County courts place on this determination, the weight of the child’s preference, the difference between managing and possessory conservators, and a host of similar issues.

A San Antonio uncontested divorce lawyer will be especially helpful in navigating the intricacies of the Texas Family Code as it relates to child support and medical support. The attorney will help their client calculate the amount of child support according to a specific formula set out by the Code. A lawyer can also explain support modification and issues like support avoidance by stopping work and Employer’s Orders to Withhold. In addition, in uncontested divorce it remains crucial to discuss medical support for the child, including medical insurance.

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Uncontested divorces are more common than ever these days. Apart from costing less than a contested divorce, uncontested divorce may also be much less complicated if it is right for the participants and the situation. The following is a list of things to keep in mind if you are contemplating an uncontested divorce in Texas.

1. Always consider hiring an attorney. Many websites offer easy, do-it-yourself uncontested divorces. However, even uncontested divorces can be complex for those unfamiliar with Texas family law. When contemplating any type of divorce, it is important to consider hiring an experienced San Antonio uncontested divorce lawyer to do things right the first time. For a low flat fee, a divorce attorney will lead you through the process of an uncontested divorce, including the preparation of the petition, waiver of service, and final divorce decree. They can also prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and military retirement order (DRO), should either or both be needed.

2. Is an uncontested divorce right for you? Many people find that their relationship with their soon-to-be former spouse is amicable enough for an uncontested divorce. For an uncontested divorce to work smoothly spouses must have a high level of trust in each other, be convinced that they have worked out major issues, and can easily work out any issues that may arise during the divorce process and beyond.

3. Have you worked out the major issues? Both spouses should agree to major issues in an uncontested divorce, and should be confident that they will be able to solve any major disagreements on these matters should they come up in the future. Major issues include division of community property, child custody, and child support.

4. Understand and divide your property: A divorce attorney will provide a guide on how to divide the marital estate, including assets, debts, and taxes. This may include an inventory appraisement to ensure that both parties have the same understanding of the property acquired during the marriage and the property that should be considered the separate property of each spouse. Even in situations where attorneys advise their clients to sign a waiver of discovery of their spouse’s finances, an inventory appraisement will ensure that both parties are on the same page and that the divorce decree includes all of the marital assets.

5. Discuss and understand issues concerning children: A divorce attorney will help a client understand major issues concerning children including child support, conservatorship, possession, and health insurance. If contemplating an uncontested divorce, spouses must come to an agreement on these and other child-related issues.


6. What is the process involved in a Texas uncontested divorce? The divorce process begins when one party serves the other party with a Petition for Divorce. For an uncontested divorce, the other party will sign a waiver of service. The attorney then prepares the final divorce decree, which will be signed by both parties. After 60 days, the attorney presents the decree in court and it is approved and signed by a judge.

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In a Texas criminal case, the State of Texas represented by the District Attorney’s office, possesses the highest burden of proof under the law. A San Antonio criminal defense attorney will explain during jury selection all of the burdens of proof separately.

The first basic element is reasonable suspicion, which is the element needed for the police to stop and detain a person. The attorney will enlighten the jury by explaining how little it takes for a police officer to legally effectuate a stop. The next level of proof is “probable cause”, which is more than reasonable suspicion. Probable cause is all that is necessary for a criminal defendant to be arrested, booked, set on bond, and stand for trial.

In its most basic form, probable cause essentially means that police are required to arrest someone if that person could be guilty of committing a criminal offense. The law encourages a police officer to err on the side of safety. When the arrested person does not contest the charges, then the court resolves the case usually through a plea agreement. However, when an arrested person disagrees with the charges, then the first time he is entitled to have a group of independent citizens review the case is when a jury is chosen. In Texas, the judge does not prescreen a case, so the only people who have reviewed the case are law enforcement and the district attorney.

The most common vaccine shot associated with the development of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is the influenza flu shot. Most people receive the influenza vaccination to reduce the risks associated with the flu. New influenza vaccines are formulated every year due to ever changing influenza viruses. Since 1979, the vaccines are trivalent, using strains of influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B viruses.

The first known association between GBS and the flu shot became apparent during a mass vaccination program in the United States with a swine influenza vaccine in 1976-1977. It should be noted that in 1976, an influenza outbreak occurred in Fort Dix NJ. The outbreak was traced to swine-type influenza A (H1N1). In reaction to the outbreak and the danger from an epidemic from swine influenza, the United States Department of Health and Human Services instituted a mass vaccination of the US population. Approximately fifty (50) million adults were vaccinated during the short three (3) month interval from October – December 1976. Of the mass numbers vaccinated, there were over five hundred (500) cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome including thirty (30) deaths. A study of the incidence of GBS discovered that there was an elevated risk of Guillain Barre Syndrome within six to eight (6-8) weeks of vaccination. Following the elevated GBS risk, the government ordered the cessation of the swine flu vaccination program in early 1977. A GBS flu shot injury attorney will refer to the swine flu incident as the strongest evidence of a causation link.


Other studies have confirmed a causal relationship between the 1976 swine influenza vaccine and GBS onset in the adult population. According to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), there was an increase in GBS reports in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 associated with the influenza vaccine, with data suggesting an increased risk within six (6) weeks following influenza vaccination. VAERS is a system employed by the United States for rapid reporting of adverse events following vaccination. The US Federal Court of Claims often inquires as to whether a VAERS report was filed following an adverse reaction to a vaccination.

An evaluation of trends of reports to VAERS of Guillain Barre Syndrome following the flu shot in adults reflected that there was a possible causal association between GBS and influenza vaccine. There was an average of onset of GBS about two (2) weeks after the vaccination and few cases of preexisting illnesses that could possibly explain the onset. A Guillain Barre vaccination injury lawyer will emphasize the timing of the onset of peak symptoms.

Between 1990 through 2005, there were over one thousand (1000) cases of GBS reported after vaccination. In the majority of cases, symptoms appeared within six (6) weeks of vaccination. GBS cases were most prevalent following the influenza vaccine followed by the Hepatitis B vaccine. For adults, there was a greater incidence of Guillain Barre under 65. The peak GBS symptoms appeared within two (2) weeks post vaccination. There appears to be a bell curve with greatest number of incidents reaching a peak at two (2) weeks with declining numbers approaching the six (6) week mark post vaccination. Over eight hundred (800) cases of GBS were reported in the US between 1990 through 2009 following the flu shot of which about half were men.

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Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a clinical neuromuscular syndrome that can cause paralysis (temporarily and sometimes permanently) in individuals who receive the influenza / flu vaccination. Generally, GBS is characterized by weakness and numbness. Some individuals complain of a tingling sensation in the legs and arms with minor to major loss of movement in the legs, arms, upper body, and face. Some people will show a contortion of the face from GBS similar to the physical drooping from a stroke. GBS usually starts as a ascending paralysis characterized by weakness in the legs, moving its way up to the upper limbs and face with a loss of deep tendon reflexes.

For the most part, Guillain Barre Syndrome is triggered by an upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection although the etiology (cause) of GBS is not exactly known. It can be a potentially deadly disorder and affects up to 2 people per 100,000. Unfortunately GBS has no known cure although several treatments can alleviate symptoms and lower the length of the disorder. For the most part, people recover fully from severe cases of GBS.


There is great debate in the vaccine community about the link between the flu vaccination and Guillain Barre Syndrome. The Vaccine Court for the most part has accepted the theory that the influenza vaccination can replace upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection as the triggering factor for GBS and the Miller Fischer variant of GBS.

If you believe you have been injured by a vaccine, it is imperative that you contact a vaccine lawsuit attorney . There is a three (3) year statute of limitations on vaccine compensation claims.

When a person’s vaccine injury is listed in the vaccine injury table and the injury occurred within the time provided in the table, then causation (the link between the vaccine and the injury) is presumed. A person may still receive compensation when the injury is not listed in the vaccine injury table, but the petitioner must show that their condition was caused by the vaccine (known as the preponderance of the evidence standard).

A vaccine injury lawyer employs several methods to demonstrate causation by a preponderance of the evidence. First, the attorney may show via experts and scientific research that it is medically plausible for the vaccine to have caused the injury. For example, in cases of GBS flu injury, a common scientific theory used by neurologists is molecular mimicry. Second, it is helpful that there is peer-reviewed medical literature supporting an association between the vaccine and alleged disability. The vaccine lawyer may also demonstrate that the petitioner’s injury is medically accepted as a reaction to the vaccine and that the injury took place within a medically accepted window of time after the vaccine to reflect causation.

As more Americans take vaccines from injury into well into their senior years, injuries from vaccines will inevitably follow. An ensuing injury of Guillain Barre syndrome from the flu vaccine is one of the most common claims.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established to provide compensation to those individuals who have suffered an illness, disability, injury, or even death from a vaccine. The standard by which the Court of Federal Claims determines a link is known as a preponderance of the evidence. Simply put, is it likely that the injury complained of was in fact caused by the vaccine.

To determine causation in a vaccine injury case, the special master (the term given to what is traditionally the judge in most civil matters) makes a finding of causation based on medical records and / or medical opinion. Simple claims of injury by the complainant or petitioner are not enough to warrant compensation. Besides examining medical and scientific evidence, the special master pays heavy attention to diagnoses or conclusions made by medical professionals regarding causation of the petitioner’s conditions. Medical professionals can also comment on residual long-term effects of the vaccine injury.

In our last blog entry, we discussed elements of the uncontested Bexar County divorce decree. A New Braunfels uncontested divorce lawyer must generally wait at least sixty-one (61) days after the filing of the divorce petition before finalizing the divorce decree. There are exceptions where the waiting time may be reduced if there are instances of family violence. Each county specifies policies for setting the final hearing. It should be noted that some counties do not require physical presence of the parties if the parties execute an affidavit proving up the divorce decree.

Your family lawyer will make sure the prove-up reflects the requirements including living in the county for at least 90 days and in Texas for six (6) months, and whether children are involved.

There are specific closing divorce documents including child support withholding orders through the Texas Attorney General , warranty deeds, qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO), specific tax forms as to the tax treatment of child dependents, name changes, and powers of attorney over vehicles.

In our last blog entry , we discussed the basic elements of a San Antonio and greater Bexar County uncontested divorce . Today, we will discuss what obligations an attorney has when preparing an uncontested divorce. The attorney disciplinary rules do not allow an attorney to represent both parties in an uncontested divorce. The attorney must not lead the unrepresented party to believe that they are representing their interests as well or give them any type of legal advice. An unrepresented party should consider obtaining their own attorney in developing decisions over contested issues.

A San Antonio uncontested divorce lawyer will often ask the unrepresented party to sign a statement in which the party indicates its understanding that the attorney does not represent them. Generally during an uncontested divorce, there is very little discovery of items like community property and finances. The parties should be fairly comfortable about the nature of the opposing parties’ assets and how they would treat custody and possession of children. Often attorneys will ask their clients to sign a waiver of their rights to discovery of the opposing party’s finances. It is crucial that all the marital property is identified and disposed of in the divorce decree.


In drafting the uncontested divorce decree, a San Antonio uncontested divorce attorney assembles basic provisions including language on jurisdiction, grounds for the divorce, and children born of the marriage. The attorney will often discuss critical issues with the parties as they relate to children including, conservatorship, possession, child support, and health insurance. Next, the lawyer focuses on the division of the community estate including assets, taxes, and debts. The divorce decree will confirm separate property ie. property belonging to one spouse only, usually property acquired before the marriage. Other divorce issues include name change, permanent injunctions, status of temporary orders, and court costs. In an uncontested divorce, the attorney will make sure the other side agrees and acknowledges the terms of the divorce. Sometimes, the divorce decree will direct the parties to execute certain documents like warranty deeds so that property may be easily transferred.

In our last blog entry, we touched base on some fundamentals of a San Antonio uncontested divorce . Keep in mind that a Bexar County uncontested divorce attorney will generally charge a flat fee with a separate flat fee for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and military retirement DRO.

In initiating a divorce in Bexar County, the attorney will often ask the client to complete an inventory appraisement. Many couples often approach me with the statement, “This is a simple divorce – we have no community property.” That may very well be true, but an inventory appraisement is often needed just to get the parties thinking about what property they have accumulated during the course of the marriage. Sometimes, there are assets (or debts) that the parties have not considered and it is important to have a frank discussion about assets and debt division. Generally, joint bank accounts should be discontinued and divided. Notes on vehicles and other property should be taken out of both names, and joint credit cards should be cancelled or put in only one spouse’ name.

So as not to cause unnecessary issues, the grounds for divorce in a Bexar County uncontested divorce is often irreconcilable differences, the general “no fault” provision. Attorney fees are generally not requested. The petition for divorce is accompanied by a waiver of service. With the signed waiver, there is no need for the other party to file an Answer to the petition – submission of the waiver constitutes an appearance and for all intents and purposes, a default answer. A party can elect not to receive notice of any further proceedings – most people elect to get notice, but if they have a good relationship with the attorney, it is not necessary as I will explain later.

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