General Information


gender marker change
The year is 2019. Everything has changed even the genders assigned at birth. Today, the existence of lesbians (a homosexual woman) and gays (a homosexual man) are widely recognized. In the same vein, there are also transsexuals who have a gender identity different from their assigned sex, and undergo medical assistance to transition themselves to the gender in which they identify. In the leading case of Obergefell vs. Hodges decided in 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that same-sex marriage is now allowed in all 50 states of the USA on the ground that it is protected under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clause. Consequently, bans on same-sex marriage by conservative states are declared unconstitutional. This is a landmark decision because finally, after decades of fighting for equality, the world now acknowledges the fundamental right to marry of the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, Transgenders) community. Another particular right that transsexuals can invoke is their right to change their gender marker. This means that state and government agencies can legally change their listed gender in official documents such as a birth certificate. The procedure varies from state to state. In Texas, a gender marker change is legal in any county, provided that the applicant complies with the requirements. The legal effect is that it shall be recognized in the entire state of Texas. Documents and Forms Needed First off, he/she needs to fill out two forms, namely: Petition To Change the Sex and Gender Identifier of An Adult, and Final Order To Change The Sex and Gender Identifier of the Adult (Order). The former is a pleading to the judge to order agencies for the change in official documents, and the latter is signed by the judge to make the official order. These forms are filed with his/her fingerprints […]

Gender Marker Change in the State of Texas


gray divorce
Gray Divorces take place between spouses who are over 50 years old. Dissolution of the marriage of couples who are 50 years old and above is increasing in the country. There will be difficulties and challenges. A common issue is when a spouse is very financially dependent on the other. After the divorce, the financially-dependent spouse will have to deal with a drastic lifestyle change. Issues regarding properties will arise. There’s also the issues of support and alimony among other things. Family Home The parties have to decide who is better capable of refinancing a mortgage of family homes not yet paid off. The more capable spouse will then be the one who will remain in the family home.  Retirement A divorcing couple who are over fifty needs to be aware of how divorce can affect the accounts dedicated to retirement. A spouse is entitled to a 50% share of the other spouse’s account. Anything contributed prior to the date of marriage is a separate property of the account owning spouse. You should help your lawyer trace what’s community property and what’s not. Social Security Benefits are also considered in dividing community property. For many clients over 50, retirement accounts may be their most significant asset. Retirement accounts’ value may be less than their balance. Spousal Support & Alimony Spousal support is a material issue in gray divorces. The party asking for post-divorce spousal support will be required: To have been married to the other spouse for at least 10 years or longer; To demonstrate they are not able to earn sufficient income to meet their minimal needs; and To show they have made a diligent effort to earn sufficient income or develop skills to do so. Debts Debts are not limited to credit cards. It can also mean mortgage […]

What is a Gray Divorce?



lawyers
Before you call a lawyer, it’s important to be clear in your expectations. A lawyer can do a lot on your behalf, but he also has limitations.  Here are some of the things your lawyer can do for you: 1. Listen to you Your lawyer is someone who you can expect to listen. You can absolutely tell your lawyer anything. Actually it’s very important for you to open up to your lawyer and be completely honest. That is a good foundation of a great attorney-client relationship.  A lawyer should be open minded and non-judgmental so you don’t have to worry about anything. If your lawyer is disrespectful, you can actually file a complaint. Lawyers have a very high ethical responsibility. No lawyer should ever make you feel bad about your case. Of course, what you should talk about should be relevant. Your lawyer may ask questions to steer the conversation to the right direction. However, you don’t have to be careful and curate what you say. Feel free to tell him anything. It’s up to the lawyer to guide you. 2. Give you legal advice A lawyer is trained to dissect information and issues in order to give you the proper legal advice. Lawyers have the legal knowledge, training, and experience to tell you what is the best course of action to take. You can rely on the competence of a member of the Bar. Lawyers have spent many years studying and training. You can file a complaint against the lawyer if it is proved that he did not exercise due diligence or is grossly incompetent.  3. Expedite the process Filing paperwork and all that mumbo-jumbo can be very daunting for a layman. You can actually leave everything up to your lawyer from start to finish. Of course, the client’s […]

What a Lawyer Can and Cannot Do


incestuous
What is Incest? A relationship is incestuous if people related by blood or adoption are in an intimate, sexual relationship. Is it a Crime? Yes, it is. In the United States, incestuous relations are generally considered a crime that is punishable by law. Incestuous marriages are illegal in all the states of the United States. Despite this, not all states have laws against incestuous relationships and these incestuous relationships may continue to take place. Texas Laws on Incest In Texas, incestuous relation is a crime. In fact, it is an act of prohibited sexual conduct. It must involve the penetration of the male sex organ into the mouth, vagina, or anus. The degree of the penalty imposed depends on the kind of sexual conduct that has taken place. Incestuous Marriages Incestuous marriages are also illegal and prohibited. Should it ever happen that there was an incestuous marriage, this marriage can be annulled. Marriage is illegal if the spouses are first cousins or closer. That means sexual relationship or marriage is not allowed between parents and their children, between the children, between children and their uncles or aunts, between first cousins, and those others that may be prohibited by law. However, if for some reason first cousins were able to get married, their marriage is not considered void. Texas will recognize its validity. Other states may allow for incestuous relationships but prohibit incestuous marriages. Texas deems any kind of incestuous relationship illegal. Incestuous relations, especially those that involve sexual conduct of any sort, are illegal and punishable by law in the state of Texas.

Texas Law Regarding Incest



pre trial
In enforcement cases, contempt is almost always involved. Contempt is a situation wherein a person has disobeyed or has failed to observe the rules imposed by a court. There are consequences faced by those who acted in contempt of court. This article will tackle the different kinds of contempt in an enforcement case and the different punishments applicable thereto. Civil and Criminal Contempt The two kinds of contempt are civil and criminal. Both of these types apply in an enforcement case. Criminal contempt is when an order of a court, like a Final Divorce decree, is violated. This is punished by detention in jail for up to 180 days and/or paying a fine not exceeding $500. On the other hand, civil contempt is punishable by punishments which last for an indefinite period of time. This punishment ends when the person being detained in contempt will follow the order. The Service of the Motion of Enforcement Upon the Respondent The Petitioner is the party who files the motion for enforcement. While the respondent is the one to whom the motion is addressed. Personal service to the Respondent is an important requisite in an enforcement case. The Petitioner must file the motion with a court order informing the Respondent the details of the court hearing. In some cases, the petitioner may have to draft the order. It may also be the court that will attach an order to the motion to be served. The petitioner and their counsel are required to serve notice upon the Respondent within ten (10) days before the hearing. If the court has not provided a period, the parties would just attend the scheduled hearing. They can later inform the court regarding the lack of notice. The judge would require the Respondent to take an oath promising to […]

The Pre-Trial of Texas Family Law Enforcement Cases


millennial couple
Today, divorce is considered a basic human right. Married couples should ideally have the option to separate on the grounds of psychological incapacity, abuse of any form, and other plausible reasons. The Numbers In previous years, divorce rates were high. Around the world, there had been 5.5 divorces for every 1,000 married couples. This is more common in European countries like France, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in a split yearly. That seems to be changing. Before 2018 ended, studies have found that divorce rates are decreasing. Compared to a decade ago, young couples are said to be less likely to separate. Hence, an 18 percent dip. Why did this happen? It’s believed that young millennials are now more selective when it comes to committing to marriages. Likewise, couples are now opting to tie the knot at 27 to 30 years old—some even later in life. Millennial Trends It also means that millennial couples are now more conscious of financial stability more than ever. They want to be able to manage their expenses and also get the health benefits they’ll need as they get older. This mindset is much different from the baby boomers who married young because of the old notion that one’s peak is before 25 years old. This practicality can be seen as one of the reasons why divorce rates are now less as of recent. It’s now believed that new marriages can last longer compared to 10 years ago. It’s possible this trend will carry over into 2019. This also means that there will be fewer marriages happening this year and the next few years. Especially since cohabiting (a practice that’s usually done when one is married) is now more common among unmarried couples. There […]

How’s Divorce Looking in 2019?



being honest with your lawyer
The Attorney-Client Relationship It is the duty of the lawyer to keep his clients secrets. A lawyer is bound. If he reveals the client’s secrets with no justifiable reason, his license to practice law may be taken. He will be stripped off his duty and disbarred. So, trust that your attorney will take your secrets to the grave. Otherwise, you can institute a disciplinary action against him. The Attorney-Client Relationship is a sacred bond. Even if the lawyer is asked to testify by the court, he cannot divulge his client’s secrets. This court also respects that the lawyer cannot breach the Attorney-Client Relationship. This is how powerful this is. If the court can’t even compel your lawyer to talk, neither can his spouse. Even the employees in the law office who come across your information by reason of their duty cannot divulge your information and must keep all matters pertaining to the clients confidential. Be honest for your own sake It is inevitable for lawyers to discuss the facts that constitute the case with their clients. It is crucial for your attorney to know the details and surrounding circumstances of the case.  If you want to win your case, you have to help your lawyer. It is normal for him to ask questions so he can devise a plan for you. Failure to know the details will make it difficult for the lawyer to do his or her job in giving advice regarding possible defenses, or advancing your best interests in a deal. If you withhold something to your lawyer which you thought was unimportant but was later brought up by the adverse party, it can do irreparable damages. It will pave a path for possible arguments the lawyer is unprepared for during the trial and this will undoubtedly blindside […]

Why Being Honest with Your Lawyer will Help Your Case


parent alienating child
When a divorce comes into play in the family, the day to day events and challenges will change not only for the spouses, but for the rest of the family as well. When the relationship of both parents come to an end, the law gives the spouses the opportunity to go through the whole process of a Divorce. While this is going on in the court, there are many instances that may arise between the couple. It may be a possibility that both individuals come to the realization that they actually do not need a Divorce and will work things out. However, on the other hand, things may get worse as the Divorce is processed over time. When the parents are not in good terms, it is most likely that one of the spouses commit Parent Alienation. Parent Alienation Syndrome It is a common problem that most families face while going through a divorce, although cases may differ. To give a background, Parent Alienation Syndrome has been evident in families since the 1980s. Parent Alienation is when one of the spouses make different kinds of attempts for the children to turn against the other spouse. This may be in the form of verbal comments, emotional manipulation, and the like. This usually arises from anger of one spouse at the other, which will then be passed on to the children. Since the children are still more vulnerable compared to adults, and are more likely to believe their parents, the angry spouse is then presented with the opportunity to shed a bad light on the other parent, which may result to the child wanting to spend less time with the other parent being accused. A usual objective of the spouse who alienates the other is so that the children and the other […]

Everything You Need to Know About Parental Alienation