Monthly Archives: March 2023

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A Michigan woman is on a mission to make a public registry to search for convicted of child abuse. Erica Hammel’s son Wyatt was severely injured and left disabled after his father’s then-girlfriend shook him. The girlfriend had been twice previously convicted for child abuse and did not have custody of her own children.   The Department of Human Services in Michigan already has a registry of people investigated or convicted of child abuse or neglect, however, child welfare attorney Elizabeth Warner says that the registry has issues – under-inclusion and over-inclusion being a few of them.   The Child […]

A Public Child Abuse Registry?

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Two days ago, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional as part of an estate dispute. Because the state does not recognize same-sex marriages, the marriage of Stella Powell and Sonemaly Phrasavath was not recognized and her estate passed to her siblings instead of her wife of 8 years.   Today, the first same-sex marriage license was issued this morning to 31-year couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant who were then married in a ceremony outside of the Clerk’s office.   Judge David Wahlberg of the 167th District court issued an order […]

First Gay Marriage License Issued in Travis County

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Occasionally, someone will come to me before things have gotten to the breaking point looking for advice for what to do to prepare for a divorce if they decide to do it, and perhaps a referral for a therapist in the meantime. This is great, and I love dealing with situations like these (even if it doesn’t make me any money!). However, lets be honest, it almost never happens this way, and the vast majority of the time people only contact an attorney after things are finished and they are wanting to file for divorce as soon as humanly possible. […]

Divorce: Do’s and Don’ts

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An agreement in the child support in Texas depends upon the age of the child or children and other certain circumstances at the time of the parents’ divorce. Therefore, it is to be expected that the agreement between the parents with regard child support will need some modifications  at least once during its effectivity. The modification enables the parties to take into consideration changes in the situation and circumstances of the children, the co-parents, or both. Acceptable Situations of Modification of the Child Support Order Texas Law provides two situations where modification of the child support order is acceptable. No […]

How to Modify a Child Support Order in Texas

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I was reading an article today by Lana Shadwick. In it, she details a situation where a 13 year old boy is attempting to utilize social media to speak out about potential abuse that occurred at a foster home. His attempts to speak out are ultimately shut down by the judge in the case for unclear, but one might assume, confidentiality reasons. The full article can be read here, and it is fairly graphic in its detailing of some rather serious abuse allegations, so if that is something that would trigger you, please be aware before viewing it. My number one problem […]

Free Speech vs. Confidentiality: Is it time to extend free speech protections to children?

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In the course of courtship and marriage, there will be many promises made. Both parties are not thinking about the possibility of divorce when they are in love. Since they are in a blissful state, they would often give gifts without condition. If a husband buys a car before their marriage, with the intention to use it as their family car, can he take it back when they are divorced?  Separate Property While the state of Texas upholds community property, it also acknowledges separate property obtained before the marriage, and after the separation. Inheritance and gifts from a third party […]

Can I Promise Things Before Marriage and Take Them Back if We Divorce?