Marriage

Everything You Need to Know About Marital Trusts

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...

What are Considered Assets in a Divorce

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...

Legal vs Ethical Responsibilities

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.   Too soon?   Let’s steer your emotions towards a more productive use by reflecting on the differences between your moral...

Cemetery Plot Sales and Laws

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.  When you...

Authentic Marriage Vows

This is the second in a series on Love and Marriage “I do.” 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...

The Name Game

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...

Handling the Homestead: Deeds and Death Part II

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. So misguided. While the stars may ultimately align in such a way that David does end...

An Informal Marriage: Are You Married?

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...

Coping With The Aftermath: Be Prepared for a Spouse’s Death

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...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Saves a Fortune

  Kaley Cuoco portrays a quintessential ditzy blonde on TV, but her real-life divorce settlement shows that she is nobody’s fool. Her marriage to Ryan Sweeting was brief, but resulted in a protracted legal battle over Cuoco’s large net worth, and over Sweeting’s request to receive spousal support from Cuoco. Cuoco is one of Hollywood’s highest paid television actress- she makes $1 million per episode of the Big Bang Theory and...

Divorce and Business Owners in Texas

"If I get divorced, what happens to my business?" That is one of the first questions that is asked when I meet with a small business owner who is contemplating getting a divorce in Texas. Business owners have special concerns when it comes to the issue of divorce. These high net worth individuals have to answer a series of questions in making such a determination. For example - Was the business...

High Net Worth Divorces in Texas

High net worth individuals face an added level of complexity when they divorce.   Frequently, our clients are share holders in closely held businesses or family corporations. In these circumstances, it is important to have family law attorneys that understand and have substantial experience in dealing with business valuations. Other common themes in high net divorces are a breach of fiduciary duty or committing marital fraud.  When it comes to the division of large...
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