The Houston Family Law Blog

December 2010 Archives

Police Say Man Tried To Kill Family To Avoid Child Support Payments

A Houston resident has been accused of trying to hire somebody to kill his children and detectives are saying that the suspect’s motive was to get out of paying child support. It looks like the suspect Alirio Perez is now in a whole heap of legal trouble, as he has been charged with the solicitation of capital murder and remains in the Harris County Jail without bond.

KPRC Houston reported that 54-year-old Alirio Perez allegedly tried to hire Hector Flores to kill his long-time girlfriend and his children, but instead of killing the family, the man reported the solicitation incident to the police. Hector Flores is reportedly the nephew of the girlfriend.

Jessica Simpson Says She Will Sign Prenup Before Second Marriage

It looks like singer Jessica Simpson has learned a valuable lesson since divorcing Nick Lachey. The 30-year-old diva announced that she was engaged to former NFL player Eric Johnson last month, but this time around she says that she will be signing a prenuptial agreement.

New York Daily News reports that Jessica Simpson hails from Texas and has a "fashion empire" that is worth $1 billion. She also has a large amount of profits from her music career and various endorsement deals. Because of all the money that she has, it would be a good idea to sign a prenuptial agreement so that her financial assets can be protected in the case of a divorce. FindLaw states that a prenuptial agreement can also be beneficial in a marriage because the contract can clarify financial rights and responsibilities in a marital relationship.

Harris County Grandparents Want Full Custody Of Their Grandchildren

Marie and Joel Hakkinen are asking the court for permanent custody of their grandchildren because they say that their daughter (the mother of the children) and their son-in-law have a history of family violence. According to the Ultimate Spring, the children were taken away from their parents by Child Protective Services (CPS) after an investigation.

In addition to the plan of getting permanent custody of their grandchildren, Marie and Joel Hakkinen have also reportedly filed a lawsuit in Harris County District Court against their son-in-law and daughter, Jason and Amie Walters, citing reasons of assault. With help from a Houston family law attorney, the Hakkinens are reportedly seeking compensatory and punitive damages against the Walters.

Texas AG Greg Abbott Tries to Overturn Gay Divorce

A lawyer in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's appellate division tried to convince the 3rd Court of Appeals last week to invalidate a gay divorce in the state between two lesbian women. The Austin American Statesman reports that the two women Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly married in Massachusetts in 2004, but got a divorce in the state of Texas earlier this year.

The Attorney General's Office has argued that granting a divorce to a same-sex couple violates state law because Texas forbids any action that recognizes the validity of same-sex marriages, including divorce. On the other side, Texas family law attorneys for the two lesbian women say that Greg Abbott has no authority to intervene in their divorce case and have urged the 3rd Court of Appeals to preserve the divorce.

Family Fundraises Money to Pay For Texas Adoption

Derek and Rebecca Hayes are finding creative ways to pay for adoption costs. The couple from Sanford, Maine is looking to adopt a baby through a Texas adoption agency and they're not letting a $30,000 bill get in the way of their goal of adding to the family. reports that Derek and Rebecca have so far raised $5,400 through various fundraisers that they say will fund their adoption.

The Hayes family has organized fundraisers that include bottle drives, sponsored breakfasts by restaurateurs, pottery stints, and presentations at craft fairs. They're asking the public to give donations by sending checks directly to a Bank of America Branch at 1364 Main Street, Sanford, Maine 04073. Checks should be made out to "Hayes Family Adoption."

Why Get A Prenuptial Agreement In Texas?

Some people in the Lone Star state might see the signing of a prenuptial agreement as unromantic, but Texas family law attorneys say that such a contract is a smart way to protect your finances during and after a marriage.

If you're thinking that prenuptial agreements are not traditional, think again! The Economic Times states that prenuptial agreements have been in existence in Europe and Far Eastern countries for thousands of years in some form or another. Prenups used to be most common in royal or rich families in order to protect their wealth and assets.

Texas Schools Teach the Financial Consequences of Sex

High school students across the state of Texas are learning about the financial aspects of relationships, marriage, and children. Through programs like Parenting and Paternity Awareness (PAPA) and No Kidding, teenagers will learn about their legal obligations as parents and the costs associated with child support, parenting, and paternity.

USA Today reports that child support and paternity are at the basis of the PAPA program, where PAPA's 14-hour curriculum teaches teenagers about importance of father involvement and the value of paternity establishment. Students can also learn about the emotional and financial challenges of raising a child.

Skype Marriage In Texas Annulled

A same-sex couple in Texas thought that they found a loophole to the state's ban on gay marriage by having a Washington D.C. based officiant perform their marriage via Skype. reports that the couple Mark Reed and Dante Walkup walked down the aisle earlier this year in a Dallas hotel while on a teleconference call  with Sheila Alexander-Reid, who officiated their wedding from the nation's capital. Prior to the wedding ceremony in Dallas, the couple had traveled to Washington D.C. to pick up a marriage license.

Does Divorce Affect Our Economy?

A 2002 study called "Does Marital History Matter? Marital Status and Wealth Outcomes Among Preretirement Adults" suggested that high divorce rates can have a negative impact on the economy. The Huffington Post reports that the study cites court costs, welfare, food stamps, public housing and increased bankruptcy as factors that are associated with divorce. These factors are known to have a strong effect on the country's economic climate.

Jamie McCourt Entitled To Equal Ownership Of Dodgers

It seems that the lengthy divorce case between Frank and Jamie McCourt is close to ending. Los Angeles Judge Scott Gordon ruled yesterday that Jamie McCourt is entitled to half of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team as part of her divorce from her ex-husband Frank McCourt, according to Yahoo! sports. Attorneys representing team owner Frank McCourt tried to argue that a marital agreement excluded the Dodgers team from the couple's community property, but the judge's ruling shows that Frank McCourt was ultimately defeated in this property division battle.

Marriage To Stepchild Or Stepparent In Texas

While there's not usually a blood relationship between a stepchild and stepparent, it's still not legal for a stepparent to marry their current or former stepchild in the state of Texas. Section 6.206 of the Texas Family Code states that a marriage is void if a party is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other party.

Hence, a marriage between a former stepchild and stepparent pair can be grounds for annulment in Texas. Furthermore, a marriage between parents and children or a marriage between grandparents and grandchildren is illegal in every U.S. state. These types of incestuous marriages can be void by the family courts through an annulment. A marriage is also subject to annulment when one party is already married at the time of another marriage (bigamy).

Fraudulent Divorce Filing Leads To Lawsuit

A woman from Harris County filed for a divorce from her husband George J. Prappas, but was surprised when she found out that she was no longer married.

The Southeast Texas Record reported that the wife Noelia Ayala Sunesara found out through her Texas family lawyer that her husband had already filed a divorce petition in January 2003. The attorney Scott P. Ogle discovered the already filed divorce petition when filing for the divorce on behalf of Noelia Ayala Sunesara.