Bradshaw advocates fairness in divorce
DENTON, TX – (DENTON BUSINESS CHRONICLE) – Increasing fairness in divorce is the goal of Denton family law attorney Charla Bradshaw. That’s why she lobbied for changes to the Texas Family Code that went into effect this year.
A recent business column in The Dallas Morning News identified Bradshaw as the driving force behind changes to the alimony statute, which joined laws governing mistaken paternity and economic fraud as changes made by the Texas Legislature to the Texas Family Code.
“These changes bring us up to speed with other states,” Bradshaw told columnist Cheryl Hall with regard to the alimony statute. “Some states leave them up to the discretion of the judge. I’m happy how far we’ve come from where we were.”
Bradshaw is one of the best-known family lawyers in the Metroplex and a managing partner of KoonsFuller, the largest family law firm in the southwest. She has been selected one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Texas (Thomson Reuters 2005) and one of the Best Women Lawyers in Dallas (D Magazine 2010).
During the last session of the Texas Legislature, Bradshaw served on the legislative committee for the family law section of the State Bar of Texas. She helped write the alimony legislation, testified before lawmakers and lobbied for the bill’s passage.
“Alimony’s been the red herring, the white elephant, the 600-pound gorilla that no one wanted to bring up,” says Bradshaw, who in her 18 years as a divorce attorney has seen way too many clients get the short end of the stick when it comes to income after the divorce. “I just jumped out there and did it.” Prior to this change, the alimony statute, known as “spousal maintenance,” was so anemic that it was rarely used.
Without Bradshaw’s leadership, Texas might have continued to languish in the backwaters of spousal support, says fellow legislative committee member Kathy Kinser. “We had one of the worst alimony statutes in the country. To say that Charla was passionate about changing that is putting it mildly. She, pretty much on her own, researched all 50 states’ alimony statutes, did a complete overview for the committee and made suggested changes.”
The new legislation might have died in committee if Bradshaw hadn’t lobbied other leading family lawyers for their support. The changes were included in the family law section package and were passed into law with surprisingly little legislative debate.