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Houston, TX 77006
Author Archives: Mary E. Ramos
Often one person decides to move out of the marital home prior to or in the beginning stages of a divorce. If the home was purchased during the course of the marriage, then the home is considered community property no matter who is living in the home, or whose name is on the paperwork, at the time of the divorce. Moving out will not affect your financial interest in the property, you will be entitled to share of the equity in the home regardless of where you are living.
Moving out can have several other consequences, however, and is a step that should be considered carefully. While both parties are entitled to a portion of the equity of the home, this does not necessarily mean the home must be sold. Sometimes, one party wants to remain in the home and ‘buy out’ the other party. If both parties are hoping to continue living in the home after the divorce, the person who moves out will have a weaker case. The person who moves out will have to convince a judge to change something, while the person who stayed in the home will just have to convince the judge to keep things the way they are. If you want to keep the home after the divorce, it is important to remain in the home while the divorce is pending. Continue reading
Although pets feel like family, they are considered property for the purposes of a divorce. That means like all property, if the pet was purchased (or adopted) during the course of the marriage, the pet is considered community property. If the pet was acquired prior to the marriage, then the pet is the separate property of the person who brought it into the marriage, regardless of who cared more for the pet, or paid for the pet during the marriage. Gifts and inheritance are also separate property, so if the pet was given to one party, or acquired through inheritance, then the pet will belong to the party to whom the pet was given.
Texas recognizes an informal marriage, or what is often called a common law marriage, in very limited circumstances. Simply living together, sharing a residence, or even having children together is not enough to create to a common law marriage, regardless of how long you have been a couple.
Several specific factors must be met in order to create an informal marriage under the Texas Family Code:
1. A man and a woman, neither of whom are married to anyone else and who are over the age of eighteen, Continue reading
Divorce is a time of extreme emotions for many people, and, unfortunately, domestic violence sometimes occurs immediately before or after a divorce filed. No amount of stress can ever justify violence, and if violence has occurred in your home you need to take actions to protect yourself, and your children. The divorce process is long and stressful, and if domestic violence has occurred once, it may happen again. The most important thing to do if you are ever the victim of domestic violence is to call the police. Continue reading
Records of family law proceedings are available online in many Texas counties. Divorces are usually a matter of public record and many Texas counties are working to make such records more easily accessible to the general population. The information available online varies by county, but generally case details such as the style of the case and the names of the parties are available. Many counties also provide information regarding court costs, hearing dates, lists of all pleadings, names of attorneys involved, and even images of some court documents, like original petitions for divorce or temporary orders signed by the judge. Continue reading
This area includes details about the work performed by one of our staff members. It includes the date the item was completed, initials for the resource completing the task, quantity in hours, rate and total cost for line item. Continue reading
Guideline Child Support Doesn’t Make Sense For My family. What Other Factors Does The Court Consider?
Texas has specific guidelines related to the amount of child support that should be paid each month. The guidelines consider the income of the obligor, or the person paying child support, and the amount of children to be supported. While the amount child support is ordered is based off of these guidelines in most cases, child support can be increased or decreased from the guideline amount depending on a series of factors listed in Texas Family Code §154.123. The Court must consider all relevant factors when deviating from child support. These factors include: Continue reading
My child lives with me, but the other parent hasn’t been providing any support for our child. Can I get back child support for all the time I’ve been supporting our child by myself?
Texas Courts may order what is known as ‘retroactive child support.’ This means that in addition to requiring a parent to pay child support going forward, a parent may be ordered to pay back child support for previous times when that parent was not helping to support the child. In order for a court to order retroactive child support, the court must first find that no previous order regarding child support was in place, or that the previous order in place was terminated prior to the time frame for which back child support is requested. If someone is ordered to pay child support and fails to do so, those missed payments are known as arrears, not retroactive child support, and a different process is in place for collecting back payments. Continue reading
In Texas, many cases are settled during mediation. A mediation agreement is a binding agreement signed by all parties and their attorneys that resolves all of the issues in case. Once an agreement is reached, the most difficult part of the case is over, but there are still several steps that need to be taken to finalize the agreement.
First, the mediator files the agreement with the court. In most cases, the agreement is filed within twenty-four hours. In many courts, especially in cases involving child custody, one party must “prove up” the mediated settlement agreement in front of the judge. Continue reading