The Houston Family Law Blog

October 2010 Archives

Abraham Fernandez Arrested in Child Abduction Case

If you're looking to change a child custody or visitation agreement, it's best to speak with a Houston family law attorney and not abduct a child from the other parent. A recent case in Harris County shows just how severe the consequences can be for kidnapping your own child.

Associated Press reports that Texas authorities arrested 23-year-old Abraham Fernandez of Houston for allegedly kidnapping his two sons from their mother's home in Anaheim, CA. Prosecutors have charged the Houston father with two felony counts of kidnapping and two felony counts of child abduction. Abraham Fernandez could be sentenced to a maximum of nine years in prison if convicted of the criminal charges.

Adopting A Child Over the Age of 12 In Texas

Most people looking to adopt in the state of Texas want a child that is a baby or still fairly young. Yet the adoption of teens is quite common if a step parent is looking to adopt the child or if another family member wants custody of the child. If you're looking to adopt an older child, make sure that you do the research or contact a Houston family law attorney on what is required for such an adoption.

NH Newspaper Refuses To Print Gay Marriage Announcement

Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in the state of Texas, so few gay couples in the state would probably ask a Texas newspaper to publish a marriage announcement. In the state of New Hampshire, gay marriage is legal, so it could be considered a reasonable request for a publication in the state to announce the occasion of a wedding.

CNN reports that the New Hampshire Union Leader, the largest daily newspaper in Manchester, refused to print a wedding announcement for Greg Gould and Aurelio Tine, two men that will be getting married this weekend in the state. In a statement Publisher Joe McQuaid wrote, "This newspaper has never published wedding or engagement announcements from homosexual couples. It would be hypocritical of us to do so, given our belief that marriage is and needs to remain a social and civil structure between men and women and our opposition to the recent state law legalizing gay marriage."

"Most Wanted Child Support Evader" Arrested in Hidalgo County

According to the Sherman Denison Herald Democrat, the Attorney General's Office in Texas says that "incarceration is the only option for parents who repeatedly ignore court orders requiring them to pay child support." So, if you owe child support in the state of Texas, it's a good idea to pay the money that is owed so that you can avoid jail.

Observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Texas

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So across the country and across the state, many individuals and organizations are looking to recognize the many victims of domestic violence this month. FOX News reports that in 2008, 136 women were murdered in Texas by their intimate partners. This number represents 39 percent of all women that were murdered during that same year.

Carla Velasco Charged With Interference With Child Custody

Houston police officers are searching for 34-year-old Carla Velasco who disappeared with her 3-year-old son in the midst of a divorce hearing. ABC News reports that the woman and her husband were granted joint custody of their son. However, Carla Velasco reportedly failed to appear in court for a custody hearing on October 24, 2009.

Census Bureau Statistics Show Marriage Rates at All Time Low

It looks like many men and women across the United States are choosing to stay single and not rush into a marriage. CBS News reports that statistics released by Census Bureau show that marriage rates among young adults have declined by more than 10 percent over the last decade.

With such a steep decline, marriage rates are at the lowest that they've been at since records first started being collected by the Census Bureau more than 100 years ago. Instead of marriage, CBS News reports that many non-married couples in the U.S. are choosing to get into cohabitating relationships.

Courteney Cox and David Arquette Separate

After 11 years of marriage, actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette announced that they've decided to take part in a trial separation. Yet unlike a divorce, a separation could be easily reversible and in some cases doesn't require formal property division.

CNN reports that if this celebrity couple was to formally divide their property through a divorce or legal separation, things could get very complicated for the family law attorneys involved in their case. Not only do Courteney Cox and David Arquette own a house together, but they're also business partners. If the two wanted to permanently separate, we could be seeing the drama that's involved in the a typical celebrity divorce all over again.

Resources for Single Parents in Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has become a well-known public figure who is taking on new initiatives to crack down on non-custodial parents that don't pay child support. Greg Abbot and Texas family law attorneys know that there can be many difficulties associated with being a single parent in the Lone Star state, so the Office of the Attorney General has put together resources for single parenting and co-parenting on its website.

The Office of the Attorney General provides links to several state programs and federal programs that can help single parents. Among these programs is the state program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). This program can provide monthly cash payments to help children and their families out with food, clothing, housing, and other basic needs. The amount of money a family receives depends on the family size and the income of the family.

The wife of the former baseball star Roberto Alomar claims that her husband "intentionally, with corrupt intent, concealed from [her] his physical condition" in order to get her to have unprotected sex with him. The wife, Maria Del Pilar Rivera, said through court documents that this was her reasoning for filing for divorce.

According to the New York Post, Maria Del Pilar Rivera is claiming that her husband outright lied to her and said that he tested negatively for sexually transmitted diseases. She also claims that Roberto Alomar knew prior to their first sexual contact that he was HIV positive. It was only after their wedding that she says she learned of him having the sexually transmitted disease. In filings, Maria Del Pilar Rivera also claimed this she wouldn't have agreed to marry Roberto Alomar if "she had known his true physical condition."

More Couples Saying "I Do" to Prenuptial Agreements

Reuters reports that prenuptial agreements are no longer just for the rich and famous. A poll conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) shows that nearly three quarters of the group's attorneys reported an increase in prenups over the past five years, particularly an increase among women seeking prenup.

Many people might not realize that prenuptial agreements are not only meant to define how assets are to be divided in the case of a divorce. Such an agreement can also provide rules on who gets a family pet in the case of a divorce or what happens if adultery is committed in the marriage. Prenups can even protect a spouse from debt so that he or she isn't responsible for the debt that their partner accumulated before the marriage.

Mel Gibson Ordered to Pay $20,000 Per Month in Child Support

The star of Lethal Weapon wanted to keep child support payments to his 11-month old daughter Lucia down to just $5,000 per month. This was the amount that Mel Gibson was paying to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva before a Los Angeles judge upped the amount to $20,000 per month.

AHN News reports that that the Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva originally asked the courts to award her $60,000 per month. While the baby mama on her own is more wealthy than the average person, she claimed that the large amount of money is needed because Lucia needs round-the-clock security as the daughter of such a high-profile celebrity. The mother is now also more than $100,000 in debt from legal fees. Family law attorneys say that $20,000 a month is not too much money for the 40-year-old mom.