As we prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s take a moment to ruminate on how judges through the ages have addressed love and affection.
We’ll start with Justice Jackson of the US Supreme Court, who authored a dissenting opinion for a 1942 case involving two people who had left their homes and respective spouses and set up housekeeping as husband and wife. Jackson first lamented that the case involved three...
So you want to live with someone to whom you are not married? We call that “cohabitating” or “inviting a lawsuit.”
Cohabitation is legal, but that does not mean it is a relationship you should leap into lightly. Before you make the move, you should consider the cautionary tale of Stephen Carl Smith and Mary Deneve.
Smith and Deneve began living together in 1991. They neither married nor signed a cohabitation...
With all the different kinds of trusts available, as well as the specific ways they differ from state to state, it can be hard to figure out exactly what a marital trust is, much less whether or not you and your spouse need one.
What is a martial trust?
Let’s start with the basics. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party to hold valuable assets — like...
While the process of dividing marital assets might seem straightforward (just split everything you own 50/50, right?), most people don’t even know what are considered assets in a divorce. You might be surprised how complex it can become.
Here’s how assets are divided in a divorce in Texas: everything you and your spouse own at the time of the divorce is considered “community property” by default, unless you can prove...
The Post-Thanksgiving Blues
Reflections Bring Good Cheer
With any luck, you have finished waving goodbye to the last of the relatives and returned to your home. Home, a place where you can reminisce in private about all of the real and imagined slights, jabs and jibes made by that graceless, greedy, egocentric, are-you-sure-we-are-even-related mob.
Let’s steer your emotions towards a more productive use by reflecting on the differences between your moral...
Picture yourself walking through a peaceful cemetery at dawn, light filtering through the leafy canopies of ancient oaks onto an array of crumbling carved gravestones. In the distance you see a small mausoleum fronted, jarringly, with a white sign saying FOR SALE BY OWNER.
That’s probably not going to happen, at least in Texas where cemetery plots are controlled by a confusing mixture of state law and local rules.
This is the second in a series on Love and Marriage
The two little words that will rock your world.
Uttering that phrase in a marriage ceremony cements you into one of the most important legal and business relationships in your life.
Bet they didn’t cover that in premarital counseling.
It is a bit of a shame that more people are not informed about the real-world consequences of marriage in Texas, a...
This is the first in a series on Love and Marriage
Getting married? Your government has a wedding gift for you: a new name.
You get this wonderful gift without regard to your age or sexual orientation. And you get the same gift each and every time you get married.
What new name can you choose?
You have 3 alternatives. We’ll go through them, using an example where your original name is Pat...
Today we revisit the sad saga of Carol (may she rest in peace), her grieving spouse David, and the Texas residence that was titled in both of their names as joint tenants. David, if you recall, had erroneously assumed that as a joint tenant he would automatically own their homestead outright when wife Carol died.
While the stars may ultimately align in such a way that David does end...
Are you married?
Amazingly, a lot of people cannot correctly answer that question.
In Texas, you can be married formally or informally. The formal way is when you sign a written declaration of marriage. The informal way, also known as a common-law marriage, is when you and another person agree to be married, thereafter live together in Texas as spouses, and represent to others that you are married.
The formal method is...
Let us take a moment and focus on planning for the loss of your spouse.
After a Spouse's death, will you be prepared to handle ALL of the aspects of living – maintenance, bills, relationships, calendars, investments, social and religious?
There are some steps you can take now to make it a bit easier:
Make sure your spouse has a will and that you know where the original is kept. If...
In 2005, Texas introduced the requirement for Parenting Plans.
Parenting plans essentially replace the Standard Possession Order and the terms previously associated with child custody and child visitation in Texas. “Parenting plan” means a temporary or final court order that sets out the rights and duties of parents in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship and includes provisions relating to conservatorship, possession of and access to a child, and child...
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