What is a TxLRS Participant?
A “TxLRS Participant” is a person who is currently in the TxLRS program. TxLRS participation is at the sole discretion of the TxLRS Administrator.
What is a TxLRS Attorney?
A “TxLRS Attorney” is an attorney appointed to represent or assist a person during a TxLRS hearing. A TxLRS Attorney’s service is very limited in scope. The TxLRS Attorney begins when the hearing begins and ends when the hearing ends. A TxLRS Attorney does not represent a person in the traditional sense, where in the traditional sense an attorney often provides a much broader scope of service. The TxLRS Attorney may or may not be the same attorney you consult with at Texas Lawyer Referral Service.
What is a TxLRS Hearing?
A “TxLRS Hearing” is a hearing on a TxLRS qualified situation where a TxLRS Attorney either represents or assists a TxLRS Participant.
What is a TxLRS qualified situation?
A TxLRS qualified situation is a situation that qualifies for TxLRS services. At any time a situation that is a TxLRS qualified situation may become disqualified for any number of reasons. This determination is made by the TxLRS Administrator.
When do TxLRS services begin and end?
TxLRS services may begin as soon as Texas Lawyer Referral Service determines that you may have a TxLRS qualified situation. TxLRS services typically continue until your situation is resolved, you have final orders entered by the court, or for some reason you were no longer qualified for TxLRS.
What counties qualify for TxLRS?
Your case must be in one of the following Texas counties to be considered for TxLRS: Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Galveston, Brazoria, Liberty, Waller, Chambers. However, being in one of these counties does not mean that your case will be qualified for TxLRS.
Who is the TxLRS Administrator?
How does TxLRS work?
TxLRS Participants receive services from Texas Lawyer Referral Service in the same manner as any typical client of Texas Lawyer Referral Service. This service includes working with one or more attorneys to evaluate and strategize their case, review existing orders, help the client understand what the orders say, ensure that the existing orders are enforceable, attempt to resolve the case without a court hearing, work to get well-documented and enforceable violations, and prepare the case for a hearing should a hearing be necessary.
It is imperative that the TxLRS Participant works on their case as directed by the attorney or others. No one should be more motivated to work on a person’s case than the person who is being wronged – and in these situations, it is also the parent ro guardian who is being denied access to their child.
What is expected of me?
Actively work on your case and follow the direction and advice of the attorneys at Texas Lawyer Referral Service.
How do I qualify for TxLRS?
Your income must not exceed 200% of the poverty level according to the U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds. You must have an issue involving denial of possession and access (i.e. visitation) of a child. You must have an enforceable court order. You must be willing to actively work your case and follow the advice and guidance of attorneys.
These are the primary qualifications, other qualifications and requirements apply.
Who determines if I qualify for TxLRS?
The TxLRS Administrator, Texas Lawyer Referral Service, has sole discretion to determine who does and who does not qualify for TxLRS. However, there are guidelines and restrictions that the Administrator must comply with in making this determination.
Once in TxLRS, do I remain in TxLRS?
No. At any time the TxLRS Administrator, Texas Lawyer Referral Service, may determine that you are no longer qualified for TxLRS.
Once in, can I get disqualified from TxLRS?
Once qualified for TxLRS, either the person or their situation can, at any time, become disqualified. Some reasons for being disqualified may include, but are not limited to:
- it is learned that a person’s income is greater than the maximum allowed for the program,
- a person does not have legally enforceable orders,
- a person fails to actively work with Texas Lawyer Referral Service, as directed or advised, to attempt to resolve and progress their case prior to a hearing,
- a person fails to get the court order violations documented in a manner that satisfies the requirements for court enforcement,
- a person fails to file their legal documents,
- fails to have the opposing party served,
- fails to appear for a hearing,
- a person has other litigation that would conflict with TxLRS, or
- a person wants to pursue the enforcement for vindictive reasons or other reasons deemed inappropriate for TxLRS.
Do I get my own attorney?
No, not in the traditional sense of having an attorney represent you in our case. However, with TxLRS an attorney will represent or assist you during a court hearing. The TxLRS attorney’s service is intended to begin when the TxLRS hearing begins and ends when the TxLRS hearing ends. The TxLRS Attorney may or may not be the same attorney you consult with at Texas Lawyer Referral Service.
Do I get a Pro Bono attorney?
No. The term “Pro Bono attorney” is often a myth or is misused. Sometimes an attorney may take a case at no charge, or pro bono. TxLRS attorneys are paid, they are paid with TxLRS funds and not by the client – thus making the TxLRS attorney free to the client.
Will an attorney represent me?
No, not in the traditional sense of having an attorney represent you in our case. However, with TxLRS an attorney will represent you during a court hearing. The TxLRS attorney’s representation is intended to begin when the TxLRS hearing begins and ends when the TxLRS hearing ends.
When will I get an attorney?
First, you do not “get” an attorney. When you near your court hearing, an attorney will be assigned to appear with you at your hearing. Typically, the attorney will require you to visit with them for a consultation sometime before the day of your hearing.
What if I need an attorney to represent me?
If you need an attorney to represent you in the traditional sense, we would refer you to the Texas Lawyer Referral Service. TxLRS has may lawyers and resource to help those in need. However, hiring a lawyer referred to you through TxLRS will likely not be free to you as is the case through TxLRS. Any such fees are between you and the TxLRS lawyer.
Do I need court orders to use TxLRS?
Yes. You must already have court orders for possession and access (i.e. visitation) of a child. Without a court order, there cannot be court order violations. TxLRS assists with enforcement of court order violations.
Do I need to have a copy my court orders?
Yes. Regardless of TxLRS, you should have a copy of your court orders. Be sure your papers are signed by a Judge. If they are not signed by a Judge, they are not court orders, they are merely paper with print on them. Many parents and guardians keep a copy of their signed court orders in their car so that if they have an incident exchanging their child or any other type of incident, they can quickly and easily produce a copy of their signed court orders.
How do I get a copy my court orders?
Go to the District Clerk’s Office in the county of your case, typically at the courthouse. You can typically request to look at your court file and get a copy of any document in the file. They may charge you a fee for making a copy. Click here for a list of District Clerk Offices and their addresses in and around Harris County, Texas.
Will TxLRS help with other types of cases?
No. Currently, TxLRS is only authorized to assist with enforcement of court order violations for possession and access (i.e. visitation) of a child. However, TxLRS may expand to other types of cases in the future.
What if I have more than one case?
If both cases are qualified for TxLRS then you may get assistance with both situations. However, if one of the of the cases does not qualify for TxLRS then the attorney would only be assisting you on the TxLRS qualified case.
Will I need to go to court?
Yes. If there is going to be a court hearing in your case, you will be required to be there. This is also a requirement for TxLRS participation.
Can I go to court without documented violations?
Yes, you may go to court on your own, but having well-documented violations is a requirement of TxLRS. TxLRS never prohibits someone from going to court on their own or to pursue their own desired actions. However, to receive the benefits of TxLRS you must comply with TxLRS requirements.
Going to court on an enforcement without being prepared and having well-documented violations may put the petitioner in jeopardy of having their case thrown out or possibly even being sanctioned by the judge.
How do I document violations?
Before going to court on an enforcement, it is important to have the violations well documented. With most enforcements for visitation and access, as the non-custodial parent, it is important to be able to prove, with solid documentation, that you were at the exchange location, on the date and at the time specified in your court orders. Click here for a more detailed explanation on how to document possession and access violations.
Will I need legal documents?
If you are going to have a court hearing, then Yes. A person typically must file a legal document to get a court hearing and to describe what is is they are asking the court to do.
How do I get legal documents?
Texas Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to resources to help you with legal documents. Such resources may include a law firm, law library, or online forms. If you use online forms, be sure they are proper and approved by the state, such as those at TexasLawHelp.org. As part of your client services at Texas Lawyer Referral Service, it is advisable that you review your documents or forms with an attorney.
Will I need to have the other party served?
Typically, it is required to have the other party served to pursue and enforcement. Each case and situation may vary, so please consult an attorney regarding your specific case or situation. As part of your client services at Texas Lawyer Referral Service, the attorneys will review your case and advise you on what needs to be done.
What is Service of Process?
Service of Process is the process legally required to have an opposing party in a case served, or given notice, that you are suing them. Laws generally don’t allow you to sue someone without providing them with legal notice that you are suing them, or how would they be able to defend themselves? Click here for a more detailed explanation of service of process and ways to have people served. As part of your client services at Texas Lawyer Referral Service, you should ask an attorney your questions about Service of Process when you consult with the attorney.
How do I get someone served?
Texas Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to resources who can serve the opposing party. People authorized to perform Process of Service must be licensed by the state and typically charge a fee for their service. Each process server may charge a different fee. Licensed process servers typically include Constables, Sheriff Deputies, and private process servers.
Who gets attorney’s fees?
If attorney’s fees are awarded, any such fees shall be payable to the TxLRS Administrator and shall go back to fund TxLRS operations. Some cases may not be eligible for attorney’s fees.