All posts by Kelly Koch

Do I have to have a reason for divorce in Texas?

Texas is known as a “no fault” State.  That means, if a person wants to get divorced, the Courts will grant the request for any reason or no reason at all.  

This general ground is called insupportibilty, and has been called irreconcilable differences in other states.  It just means the marriage has become “insupportable” due to conflict or discord of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.   

Sometimes clients don’t want the divorce, but there is no way to stop it if one person wants it.  Years ago, courts would encourage counseling, but that is no longer the case.

Sometimes litigants plead (ask) for divorce based on “grounds” or specific reasons such as cruelty, adultery, conviction of felony, abandonment, confinement in a mental hospital or living apart. 

The most common of these are adultery and cruel treatment.  Because the divorce can be granted based upon insupportibility, these claims are unnecessary and used primarily  to obtain a larger settlement (more than half). 

Whether or not you should add these grounds to your divorce depends on several factors, including the size of the community estate and your desire for privacy. 

Kelly Koch Attorney at Law

Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment.

1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX

Happy Holidays for All

Texas law suggests a minimum amount of time the non-custodial parent should have with their child, it’s called the Standard Possession Order.  It sets out weekends, holidays and summer time that a parent should have under normal circumstances, and presumes this is in the best interest of the child.  Of course, if your case has extenuating circumstances, you need to let that be known.

The Holidays contemplated by the Texas Family Code are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New’s Years, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, child’s birthday and Spring Break.  The Family Code does not include Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Halloween, President’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  Religious holidays are discussed below.   If you want to be assured of time with your child during holidays other than Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, you should make desires known.

It is designed that each parent have equal time during Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and Spring Break over a two year period.  Depending on the school calendar, this may not be an equal day by day breakdown.

The following is a typical visitation schedule:

1.            Christmas Holidays in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, PARENT B shall have possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

2.            Christmas Holidays in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and PARENT B shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

3.            Thanksgiving in Odd-Numbered Years – In odd-numbered years, PARENT B shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

4.            Thanksgiving in Even-Numbered Years – In even-numbered years, PARENT A shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

5.            Child’s Birthday – If a parent is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of a child on the child’s birthday, that parent shall have possession of the child and the child’s minor siblings beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. on that day, provided that that parent picks up the children from the other parent’s residence and returns the children to that same place.

                6.            Father’s Day – FATHER shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day, provided that if FATHER is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, he shall pick up the child from PARENT A’s residence and return the child to that same place.

                7.            Mother’s Day – MOTHER shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day, provided that if MOTHER is not otherwise entitled under this Possession Order to present possession of the child, she shall pick up the child from PARENT B’s residence and return the child to that same place.

Religious Holidays And Family Traditions

Jewish holidays and other religious holidays sometimes coincide with the Christian equivalent seasonal holidays for example, Passover versus Easter and Chanukah versus Christmas. Furthermore, school districts are attempting to meld administrative holidays.

If the parents are of a divergent religion from one another, it is absolutely necessary to put the respective holidays in any agreement. Just because your Jewish or Christian partner did not celebrate religious holidays does not mean his family won’t. Consider also, that the emotional tumult surrounding divorce and single parenthood can make people of any faith move closer to their respective roots.

Lastly, if you have special family traditions such an annual reunions, don’t trust that your ex will believe they are as important as when you were together. It is very rare for parents to lament that their holiday access schedule is too specific so always spell it out.


Kelly Koch Attorney at Law

Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment.

1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX



Imagine You’re a Custody Judge in Texas

Imagine you are the Judge and have to decide with whom a child should live. 

Dad says he is the better parent, and Mom says, are you crazy, of course the kids should live with ME. 

When you ask each of them why with you, they both say, “cause it’s what is best for them.” 

Well, that is a vague answer, and doesn’t give you as the Judge, much guidance.  In fact, both parents may have something to offer.  But who is right or wrong is rarely clear cut. 

You as the Judge have to give both parents time to present their case.  Mom and Dad can whole heartedly believe each is best, but the opinion that matters is the Judge. 

You, as Judge, need to look for objective factors, such as

  1. Does the parent get the child to school on time? 
  2. Are there tardies and absences? 
  3. How is the child performing at school?  Too tired? 
  4. Is one parent trying to avoid child support, or the other using child support to supplement their own household? 
  5. Is a parent playing games with discovery requests or other deadlines.   
  6. Are medical and dental appointments made regularly?  Who attends?  What hours do the parents work? 
  7. What child care is available in absence of a parent. 

Many factors come into play.  In addition, clean hands is important.
That means litigants and parents shouldn’t bicker like children and expect to get your way. 

If  Mom/Dad responds to nasty texts by sending their own nasty texts, don’t expect to say, “Well she/he did it first.” 

Once a parent starts throwing mud, they have lost.  Take the high road and expect all texts, emails, phone calls etc to be shown to the Judge and act accordingly.  It’s hard in the heat of the moment, but will pay off with better results and happier children. 

Remember, imagine YOU are the Judge and think about what behavior in and out of the court room you would want a child exposed to.

Kelly Koch Attorney at Law

Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment.

1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX

Joint Managing Conservators – not custody

Courts in Texas do not use the term “custody” when referring to children, but rather use the word “conservator.”  In Texas, the starting point is that both parents will be named as joint managing conservators.  This does not mean each will get equal time, but that they share equally rights and duties regarding the child or children.  Some typical examples are the right to be notified in case of school emergency and to consent to medical treatment in emergencies.  Parents will most often share the right to direct the moral and religious training of the child while with the child, as well as reasonable discipline.  This list is not exhaustive, and parents who are joint managing conservators retain the rights and duties existing by virtue of the law. 

In most cases, one parent will be named primary joint managing conservator.  That parent typically has the right to determine the residence within a specific geographic area, the right to make educational decisions (where the child attends school), to receive child support and the right to claim the child as a dependent for income tax purposes.  Mostly, each parent sets the rules for their own household.

Under extreme circumstances, a court will appoint one parent as sole managing conservator and the other as possessory conservator.  Most often this occurs when there has been a history of domestic violence or drug abuse.  

Whatever the conservatorship label, the time each parent spends with the child needs to be decided.  Anything the parents agree upon can be done.  If there is no agreement, the court will decide what possession and access schedule each parent will be awarded.  

Although I have stated what are generally accepted practices, the Court must always do what is in the best interest of the child. 

Kelly Koch Attorney at Law

Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment.

1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX

Divorce Courts in Nueces County Texas

Here’s a list of the various Divorce Courts in Nueces County Texas and their individual phone numbers, the Clerk Hours are the same for all of them, Divorce cases are held in District Court.
8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm
At the time of the filing of your lawsuit, the case will be randomly assigned to one of the these Family Law Courts, unless you are filing an action related to a prior order of a Nueces County court. In that case, you usually must file the action in the same court which ruled on the initial order.
28th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Nanette Hasette
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
94th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Bobby M. Galvan
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
105th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Jack William Pulcher
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
117th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Sandra L. Watts
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
148th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Guy Williams
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
214th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Jose Longoria
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
319th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge David V. Stith
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
347th District Court
Judge Name:
Judge Missy Medary
Clerk Name:
Anne Lorentzen
Court Address:
901 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone:
361-888-0450
Kelly Koch Attorney at Law Contact us by phone at (361) 882-8000 or through our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening and weekend consultations available by appointment. 1402 N. Chaparral St., Corpus Christi, TX