Fran Brochstein
Mediator


P.O. Box 1925
Marble Falls, Texas, 78654


(713) 847-6000 Voice
(713) 805-9591 Cell
fran@familylaw4u.com


One of Houston's Best Family Lawyers -
Houstonia Magazine

One of Houston’s Top Lawyers/Mediators -
H–Texas Magazine


Houston Women Magazine
2017 50 Most Influential Woman
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Member

Association for Conflict Resolution - Houston Chapter

Credentialed Distinguished Mediator
with the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA)

Texas Association of Mediators (TAM)

Association for Attorney-Mediators

State Bar of Texas

Highland Lakes Bar Association

Austin Mediators Association

Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce

Marble Falls Rotary Club

FAQs

What is Collaborative Law?
What is Mediation?
Links for Information

Sample Questions to Help with Your Initial Consultation

Here are some sample questions, based on my previous experience, to make your one free telephone consultation effective.

(Please be advised that some questions may NOT apply to your situation)

For a divorce
For a common law marriage in the State of Texas
For an annulment in the State of Texas
For paternity or parents not married to one another
To change custody
To modify child support
For grandparents, aunt/uncle, siblings over 18 years or a non-relative
For a minor to be declared an adult in the State of Texas
For property division
For an adult name change
General questions for most cases involving children
General questions



For a divorce:
  • Most important -- Have you done everything you can to save your marriage and avoid a contested divorce?
  • Who referred you to me? Or, how did you find me on the web? If you currently have an attorney representing you, why are you looking at my website?
  • How long have you lived in Texas? Has it been over 6 months? How long have you lived in the county that you currently live in? Has it been over 90 days?
  • Since the date you married, have any children been born or adopted? (This includes any children fathered by a man NOT your husband). If there are children by another man, is he willing to be declared in court to be the legal father of these children?
  • Were any children born BEFORE you married your current spouse that are your spouse’s children? If so, what have you done to establish paternity?
  • Date of marriage, location of marriage and date of separation
  • Has the Office of the Texas Attorney General established paternity, visitation, and child support? If so, when? Do you have a certified copy of this document? If not, you need to order one.
  • Is DNA testing going to be necessary in your case?
  • Is this case going to be agreed to or contested?
  • Do you know how to locate your spouse in order to have the person served with legal paperwork?
  • Please include how many minor children are involved in your legal case, their ages and where they are currently living and with whom?
  • Have you been served with legal paperwork? If so, who is the opposing attorney and what Court have you been assigned to for this case?
  • Is there a hearing scheduled? Has the Court assigned a trial date yet?
  • Is there an outstanding protective order involved in this case? Or, has there been any violence or threats of violence in the marriage in the last 2 years? Do you truly believe that you are in danger?
  • List briefly all debts (including any Internal Revenue Service debts) and assets involved in this case. Are you currently involved in a bankruptcy?
  • Are the minor children covered on health insurance? If not, one of the parents will need to obtain it.
  • Is there anything thing else that I need to know in order to quote you a deposit amount and monthly payment plan?
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For a common law marriage in the State of Texas:

In addition to the above questions –

  • Did you register your marriage with a county clerk in the State of Texas?
  • Did you list each other as “spouse”? If so, what written proof do you have? (Such as -- insurance, a lease, automobile purchase, real estate documents, contracts, credit cards, wills, tax returns, etc.)
  • Is either of you currently married to anyone else?
  • Did you file your income tax returns as married?
  • Do you have any witnesses willing to come to court to testify that you are common law married?
  • If you are currently separated, how long have you been living apart from each other?
  • How old are you and your spouse?
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For an annulment in the State of Texas:
  • How old are both of you? How long have you been married?
  • Were you under the influence of alcohol or narcotics when you married? Did you immediately leave when you sobered up?
  • Is either party impotent?
  • Were you induced into marriage by fraud, duress or force?
  • Do either of you lack mental capacity to consent to marriage?
  • Is your spouse still married to someone else?
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For paternity or parents not married to one another:
  • Most important -- Have you done everything you can to save your relationship and avoid a contested litigation?
  • Who referred you to me? Or, how did you find me on the web? If you currently have an attorney representing you, why are you looking at my website?
  • How long have you lived in Texas? Has it been over 6 months?
  • How long have you lived in the county that you currently live in? Has it been over 90 days?
  • Has the Office of the Texas Attorney General established paternity, visitation, and child support? If so, when? Do you have a certified copy of this document? If not, you need to order one.
  • If you never were married, are both parents listed on the birth certificate?
  • Have you done DNA testing? Do you need to do DNA testing?
  • Is this case going to be agreeable or contested?
  • Do you know how to locate the other parent in order to have the person served with legal paperwork?
  • Please include how many minor children are involved in your legal case, their ages, where they are currently living and with whom?
  • Have you been served with legal paperwork? If so, who is the opposing attorney and what Court have you been assigned to for this case?
  • Is there a hearing scheduled? Has the Court assigned a trial date yet?
  • Is there an outstanding protective order involved in this case? Or, has there been any violence or threats of violence in the last 2 years? Do you truly feel threatened?
  • Are the minor children covered on health insurance? If not, one of the parents will need to obtain it.
  • Is there anything thing else that I need to know in order to quote you a deposit amount and monthly payment plan?
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To change custody:
  • You will need a certified copy of the current legal document regarding all minor children involved in this litigation.
  • Why should custody be modified now? I need specific examples.
  • How old are the children?
  • Will the children sign a statement that they want to live with you?
  • Do you have witnesses willing to come to court to testify on your behalf?
  • What written proof do you have that can be presented into evidence in Court?
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To modify child support:
  • You will need a certified copy of the current legal document regarding all minor children involved in this litigation.
  • How long has it been since this case was last modified?
  • Where do the parties now live? Does anyone still live in the county where the case was last heard?
  • Why do you want to modify child support now?
  • What evidence do you have to modify child support now?
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For grandparents, aunt/uncle, siblings over 18 years or a non-relative:
  • Have you had actual care, control and possession of the child for at least 6 months ending not more than 90 days ago?
  • What evidence do you have that the child’s present circumstances would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development?
  • Will both parents, the surviving parent, or the managing conservator or custodian consent to the filing of this lawsuit?
  • What evidence do you have of substantial past contact with the child?
  • Have both parents had their parental rights terminated?
  • Is your grown child been (a) in jail or prison for at least the last 3 months, (b) is deceased or (c) has been found by a court to be incompetent?
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For a minor to be declared an adult in the State of Texas:
  • Are you a resident of the State of Texas? How long have you lived in Texas? What county do you live in and how long?
  • How old are you?
  • Are you employed? Can you support yourself? Are you managing your own financial affairs without your parents, managing conservator or guardian helping you?
  • Are you currently living separate and apart from either of your parents, managing conservator or guardian?
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For property division:
  • What property did you and your spouse own before your marriage?
  • What property have you received since marriage by gift, inheritance or recovery for personal injuries?
  • What debts did you and your spouse have before marriage?
  • What debts have you incurred since marriage?
  • Have either of you started a business since marriage?
  • What proof do you have regarding all assets and liabilities – both separate and community property?
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For an adult name change:
  • How long have you lived in Texas? Have you lived in the same county at least 90 days?
  • Why do you want a name change?
  • Are you willing to be finger printed by the Department of Public Safety?
  • Do you have a criminal history?
  • Are you attempting to evade any creditors?
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General questions for most cases involving children:
  • What is the worst thing that will be alleged by the opposing party?
  • Is it true?
  • What is the worst thing you can allege about the opposing party?
  • Is it true?
  • Can the opposing party pass a drug test – hair and urine?
  • Can you pass a drug test – hair and urine?
  • Have there been any police reports filed? If so, how many and when?
  • Who is the most stable parent? I need specific details.
  • Why should you have custody? Again, I need specifics.
  • Why should the opposing party not have custody? Again, I need specifics.
  • What proof (written evidence, witnesses, photos, recordings, emails, etc.) do you have to present into evidence in Court?
  • If there are allegations of physical and/or mental abuse, what evidence do you have? Do you have witnesses willing to come to court to testify on your behalf?
  • If there are allegations of child abuse, what evidence do you have?
  • If there are allegations of parental alienation, what evidence do you have?
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General questions:
  • How much do you earn each month? How much does the opposing party earn each month?
  • What is your job title? What is opposing party’s job title?
  • How long have you been at your job? How long has the opposing party been at his/her job?
  • What benefits do you have through your job and/or opposing party’s employment?
  • Are you covered by health insurance? How much are the premiums?
    If you don’t have the children insured right now, can you add them to your health insurance policy?
  • Do you receive bonuses, incentives, perks, etc. on a regular basis?
  • Do you have a 401(K) or IRA?
  • If you had to liquidate all of your assets, how much money would you receive? What about opposing party’s assets?
  • How much debt are you personally obligated to repay? What about opposing party’s debts?
  • What is your highest level of education? Opposing party?
  • We need the following information for each person (including children):
    • Full legal name
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security Number
    • Place of birth
    • Texas driver's license number
    • Address
    • Phone numbers
  • What makes your case unique?
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Recommendations

I have known Fran for 8-9 years. She handled my divorce wonderfully. I have recommended her to two other people and they loved her, too. On occasion, I have called her seeking advice. She is knowledgeable, honest, and compassionate. Anytime I need legal advice, I call Fran. Even if it is not her area of expertise, I know she will point me in the right direction. It's a pleasure to know her. ...read more
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