Legal Advocacy

For Those In Need

Find out more about legal services which may be right for you.

Legal Advocacy

For Those In Need

Find out more about legal services which may be right for you.

Legal Advocacy Program

AVDA’s Legal Advocacy Program consists of seven staff attorney/paralegal teams who are dedicated to providing free legal representation in family law matters to victims of domestic violence in Harris County courts. We have attorneys that specialize in protective orders, and others who focus on divorce, child support and child custody, and clients may be eligible for both services. Beginning November 1, 2017, AVDA provides these same services to survivors in Fort Bend County through a fulltime AVDA staff attorney and paralegal team with offices in Stafford and the Richmond/Rosenberg area.

Most of AVDA’s clients have income that qualifies them for traditional legal aid (no more than 187% of the federal poverty guidelines). AVDA’s Expanded Legal Services Program consists of a “working poor” legal team, dedicated to serving victims who earn too much to qualify for traditional legal aid, yet too little to afford a quality, trauma-informed attorney. Clients who are served by the Expanded Legal Services Program will be asked to help pay court costs and fees, but will not be charged for representation. It is AVDA’s intent that no victim is kept from quality legal services simply because of the inability to pay.

Eligibility

At any given time, AVDA attorneys are representing some 200+ victims of domestic violence. In general, clients must meet the following criteria to be eligible for services, but are encouraged to call AVDA at 713-224-9911. and speak with an Advocate to ensure eligibility:

  • The individual has experienced a pattern of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse by his/her partner in the past few years and/or has minor children who have been physically/sexually abused by the intimate partner.
  • Texas law requires that, in filing for a divorce, one of the parties must have (1) resided in Texas for six months AND (2) in the county where the action is filed for three months. AVDA therefore represents only Harris County residents and/or abuse victims whose partners meet these residency requirements.
  • The individual must know where the respondent lives and works or be able to obtain this information, so that the respondent can be notified in person of the pending legal action.
  • The individual’s partner cannot be a current or recent participant in AVDA’s Battering Intervention & Prevention Program (BIPP) without both parties signing a Waiver of Conflict, as this poses a conflict-of-interest for our attorneys.
  • While Protective Orders are available regardless of income level, FREE legal representation for other legal services is available for individuals who are at or below 187% of the federal poverty level in our traditional legal aid program, and for individuals up to 400% of the federal poverty level in our “working poor program”. In determining financial status, AVDA considers gross employment and public benefits income, property and other assets, and we deduct for childcare expenses. Contact AVDA Advocates to explore your eligibility for legal options.
AVDA recognizes that our clients often need services beyond legal representation to achieve safety and self-sufficiency for themselves and their children. Legal clients also have access to a variety of free services at AVDA, including:

  • Counseling for themselves and their children
  • Client Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Education and Training Fund
  • Safety Planning
  • Information and Referral
  • Crime Victims Compensation assistance

The Emergency Financial Assistance fund is provided through the generosity of the National Council of Jewish Women – Houston Section.
For more information, call AVDA at 713-224-9911. Office hours are generally 8am-5pm Monday-Friday, but after hours and Saturday intake is available by appointment.

Online Pre-Registration

  • (physical and/or sexual violence)
  • I understand that this is only an application to request services from Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and that I must fill this application out completely. I have not misrepresented anything in this questionnaire. I understand this is not a agreement for AVDA to represent me in an already pending legal matter.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Legal Aid.
Quality, supportive service.

Call for an appointment with an Advocate to explore if AVDA’s Legal Advocacy Program is a good option for you.

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AVDA
1001 Texas Ave., Suite 600 Houston, TX 77002
P: 713-224-9911
F: 713-715-6935 | 713-715-6945

AVDA

1001 Texas Ave., Suite 600 Houston, TX 77002 P: 713-224-9911 F: 713-715-6935 | 713-715-6945

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