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Judicial Q&A: Kathy Vossler

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates on the November ballot. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates.)

Kathy Vossler

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

I am Kathy Vossler, and I am running for the 309th Family Court.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

This court hears and decides cases involving Divorce, Custody, Child Support, Termination, Adoption, Enforcement, Name Changes and CPS

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

Family law cases tend to be very stressful for the parties. For many, it is the most stressful time of their lives. Going through a divorce or custody case is an experience that impacts people both financially and emotionally. It is a big turning point in the lives of the people who come to family court, and one that they remember the rest of their lives. As a family lawyer, I have found that I have the ability to turn down the volume on the drama and rhetoric by focusing on the issues, doing what is in the best interest of the children, and treating everyone in the case with professionalism, dignity and respect. Taking this approach enables the parties to move on with their lives in a positive and productive manner, and helps them to make the best of a difficult situation. It also helps them to focus on what is right for their children, become better parents, and make smarter decisions based on longer term goals.

I am running for this particular bench because I want to bring to the voters of Harris County the same dignity, respect and professionalism that I bring to my cases. I have the experience, the knowledge of the law, the judgment, and the temperament to be a good judge in the 309th, and I hope that the voters of Harris County will entrust me with this very important position.

I will bring a positive change in this court. Some of the changes I will bring include: (1) I will follow the law, including the decisions of the Texas Supreme Court; (2) I will treat people with dignity and respect and exercise judicial temperament that will allow the parties to know that they have been heard, have had a fair trial, and are free to move on with their lives; (3) I will judge each case individually, on its merits, according to the law, without prejudice as to the issues and without regard to the political leanings, power, or contributions of the parties and/or attorneys involved; and (4) I will run the court efficiently, eliminating unnecessary settings and conducting meaningful hearings in a timely manner.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

I am a family lawyer, and have been for seventeen years. I have handled hundreds of family law cases, including all of the kinds of cases that this court hears. I have a good understanding of the law and have always shown good judgment with regard to my cases. The parties that come before a family bench are dealing with all kinds of issues, which may include alcohol or drug addictions, infidelity, the financial woes that are inherent in the abrupt transition from one or two wage earners supporting one household, to stretching that same income to support two households. They may be dealing with Real Estate issues or small business issues. I have experience with all of that as a family lawyer. In addition, before becoming a lawyer, I was in the restaurant business. I worked in having been a small business owner for most of my adult life, in addition to a Business Broker and a Realtor prior to entering into the legal field. All of this experience will help me to be a good Judge in the 309th.

5. Why is this race important?

The 309th Family Court is one of nine family courts in Harris County. The judge of the 309th District Court decides who gets custody of your children, and what kind of visitation the other parent gets. She decides where the children will live, a decision that impacts what school they will likely go to, and what kind of jobs you may accept in the future. She decides how the house, cars and retirement get divided in a divorce, whether a parent’s rights are forever terminated to their children, whether a party or parties are able to adopt children. She decides if one parent will receive financial support from the other parent once a divorce is finalized. There is no other type of court in Harris County that impacts so many parts of your life, in such a personal way. This race is important because of the issues at stake, and the differences between myself and my opponent.

6. Why should people vote for you this November?

I will bring a positive change in this court. Some of the changes I will bring include: (1) I will follow the law, including the decisions of the Texas Supreme Court; (2) I will treat people with dignity and respect and exercise judicial temperament that will allow the parties to know that they have been heard, have had a fair trial, and are free to move on with their lives; (3) I will judge each case individually, on its merits, according to the law, without prejudice as to the issues and without regard to the political leanings, power, or contributions of the parties and/or attorneys involved; and (4) I will run the court efficiently, eliminating unnecessary settings and conducting meaningful hearings in a timely manner.

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