The Houston Family Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

Texas Santa Killler Aziz Yazdanpanah Identified

The 56-year-old man dressed in a Santa suit that killed six members of his family and then himself over the holidays has been identified as Aziz "Bob" Yazdanpanah, reports MSNBC.

The Santa murder-suicide occurred in Grapevine on Christmas Day.

Grapevine police identified the victims as wife, Fatemah "Nasrin" Rahmati, 55; daughter, Nargis "Nona" Yazdanpanah, 19; son, Ali Yazdanpanah, 14. Nasrin's sister, Zohreh Rahmati, 58; her husband, Mohamad Hossein Zarei, 59; and their daughter, Sahra Fatemah Zarei, 22; were also killed.

Top Five Texas Divorces of 2011

Divorce is always in season. In fact, the South has the highest divorce rate in the country. And in 2011, Texas saw its share of news-worthy divorces. Here is our list of the top five.

5 - Beyonce's Parents Divorce

The parents of iconic, bootylicious singer, Beyonce, divorced recently in Texas, even though their earlier attempt at divorce had been thrown out by a judge.

West Harris County Home Invasion: Father Killed

A young wife found her husband dead and two of the couple's three under-10-children tied up in her West Harris County home, reports the Houston Chronicle. Her husband had been shot.

The husband, Russell Lopez, was 31, and he died at the scene. His 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe was missing as well.

Beyonce's Parents Divorce

Houston’s world-famous singer, Beyonce Knowles, is currently married to Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z, and while you would think that would be the relationship going through difficulties, it is actually Beyonce’s parents that are divorcing, reports the New York Post.

Mathew and Tina Knowles were married for 31 years before their divorce finalized, reports TMZ. The couple filed for divorce back in November, 2009, after Tina Knowles discovered that her husband had had an affair and fathered a child with another woman. But there was a period when it looked like they might reconcile; though eventually the divorce did go ahead. In that time, Tina started a business with her daughter, a fashion line called the House of Dereon.

She's Now a Woman: Britney Spears Marrying Again

Everyone's favorite teenage drama-queen-pop-star, Britney Spears, is marrying her 40-year-old former agent Jason Trawick, reports the Houston Chronicle. This is her third marriage.

Trawick and Spears ("Tears"? "Sick?") met during the course of Britney's marriage to Kevin Federline. Federline is the father of Britney's two children, reports the Daily Mail. He also has children by two other women.

Working Moms Happiest, But Should Worry About Divorce

In what is likely to be great news for all the moms trying to find a good work-home balance, a recent study found that working moms are happiest, reports Salon.

The working mom study, published in December's Journal of Family Psychology, says that working mothers are healthier and happier than stay-at-home mothers.

The one catch with the study is that while it takes data over ten years, the decade is from 1991 onwards. Also, the study may not be entirely correct, as it focused mostly on part-time working moms, notes Salon. Obviously there is a great deal of a difference between a full-time working mom and a part-time working mom, which the working mom study may have ignored.

Rise of Co-habitation in America? Marriage Rates Decline

American marriage rates are down to 51 percent from a high of 72 percent in 1960, reports the Houston Chronicle. But it is among young adults — the so called 20-somethings — that the marriage rate is really low, closer to 20 percent, nearly a third of what it was in 1960.

One explanation offered for the dismal American marriage rates is that people are simply waiting longer to get married (average marriage age for men is 28.7 and 26.5 for women). Other explanations are that religious people are more likely to be married and the decline in identification with religious traditions may be playing a role in a decline in marriage too, reports the Chronicle.

Mom Denied Food Stamps Shoots Two Children, Herself

A Texas mom denied food stamps shot her two children then herself, reports CBS.

The Texas mom, named Rachelle Grimmer, age 38, had a seven hour stand-off with the police at a state welfare office before shooting herself and her two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, named Timothy and Ramie. The children are in critical condition at time of writing; meanwhile, the mother, Rachelle Grimmer, died.

Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter Divorce

The stars of the hit show about a likeable serial killer, Dexter, divorced recently, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Co-stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter divorced over irreconciliable differences. The divorce was filed almost a year ago by Jennifer Carpenter after the couple married in December 2008. Court filings will keep the division of property confidential.

Texas Aunt-Nephew Sex Leads to Charges

Some drunk aunt/nephew sex will lead to charges for a northwest Harris County woman, reports the Houston Chronicle. The woman, whose name was not released to protect the identity of the teenaged nephew, said that she had sex with the child since he was 13. That, if true, would mean that this would amount to emotional and sexual abuse.

Accordingly the aunt has been charged with sexual assault and had to post a $30,000 bond.

Texas Community Property Division of Property

When it comes to division of property in a divorce, Texas is a community property state. This means that any property acquired during a marriage, except by gift or inheritance, belongs to both parties. This is true even if one spouse supplied all the income. And each spouse owns half of the community property.

Bay City Father Shoots Family

A Bay City father shot his family and himself. The victims included his wife, a 3-year old, and a 5-year old, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Jose Avila, only 24-years-old himself, opened fire after talking to his wife, who was identified as Laura Gonzalez. The couple have two other children. A 4-year-old and 2-year-old. Those two are on life support.