Q:Which court will hear my family law case?
A:If your divorce has been filed in Harris County, then one of 18 family law courts (district court) will have your case assigned to it. The same answer applies to your case if you are involved in a child custody, modification, or enforcement case on previously established family court orders. There are four child support-only courts that oversee matters related to the Office of the Attorney General as well as three juvenile justice courts which handle primary Child Protective Services cases. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is equipped to take up your case- no matter what kind of family matter you are in the middle of.
Q:Where are the courts physically located?
A:Of the three courthouses that are relevant to Harris County family cases, the most notable is the Civil Courthouse located at 201 Caroline Street in downtown Houston. This is the main courthouse that houses the 10 family courts. You should be prepared to leave the house, or wherever you are staying, early enough to arrive in court for docket call. You may not go before a judge immediately, but you still need to be present when the judge goes through their docket each morning. The Juvenile Courthouse is located at 1200 Congress St. on the 5th floor. There are three courts which hold hearings and trials in this building – the 313th, 314th and 315th district courts.
Q:Where can I go for reduced cost mediation in Harris County?
A:The Harris County Domestic Relations Office provides legal services for residents of Harris County. If you need to establish, enforce, or terminate child support and/or visitation then you can contact their office at 713-274-7300. Their office seeks to ensure that parents discover that mediation is a preferred alternative to litigation. If you are attempting to mediate on a budget, then contacting the Harris County DRO may be something worth looking into. You can request mediation through their website located at dro.harriscountytx.gov.
Q:What if I need to file for a Protective Order?
A:Protective Order applications/petitions can be filed through the 280th District Court in Harris County. Judge Barbara J. Stadler handles only protective order hearings and applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic only ZOOM hearings are being held. Protective orders can be sought if you have been a victim of family or domestic violence or there is a significant threat of such harm in your life. Protective Orders are more commonly known as restraining orders. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan can help you to file for a protective order and can help defend you against a protective order application, depending on your circumstances.
Q:What are the inclement weather policies of the Harris County District Courts?
A:You should check with your court in advance of any hearing or trial in order to learn what their specific policies are in terms of the cancellation or delayed start of hearings. With severe weather always a concern it pays to know in advance what to expect regarding this subject. Many of the courts have a policy that if the County Judge of Harris County announces that County buildings will be closed, the courts will remain closed until the County Judge announces the reopening of the buildings. For the Juvenile Justice Courts, if the Houston Independent School District cancels classes on any given day, the juvenile courts will also be closed for that day.