The Houston Family Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

Frank McCourt Divorce Settlement of $131 Million a Steal

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s divorce from wife Jamie cost him a divorce settlement of nearly $131 million dollars and many people just shook their head at the massive number.

But now, as McCourt has sold the Dodgers for more than $2.3 billion and looks to pocket about a billion of that, his willingness to agree to the divorce settlement with Jamie McCourt is looking either brilliant or really lucky, reports The Los Angeles Times. Either way, the experts are calling Jamie McCourt’s willingness to settle a “miscalculation.”

2012 Texas Child Support Calculator iPhone App Released

It looks as if family law in Texas is catching up with the technology out there. In fact recently, the Texas Child Support Calculator got its own iPhone app, available via iTunes. Now you can play around with the complicated math that allows a court to determine your child support on your smartphone -- any place, any time.

Support Calculator app costs $8.99, which is quite a steal, because the same information might cost more through an attorney. It is also likely that family law attorneys will be in the market for this app, so they can dispense Texas child support advice on the fly. Or, attorneys can make calculations and then charge the people they meet at parties -- it is always annoying to be hit up for free legal advice at a cocktail party.

Morin Family Child Found Eight Years Later

Often parents that have lost sight of their child just for a few moments can go bonkers from worry; imagine then, the state of Fernando Morin and Auboni Champion-Morin, whose child disappeared in 2003, when he was just 8 months old and was rediscovered when he was 8-years-old, reports Houston Chronicle.

The child, Miguel Morin, after becoming separated from his biological parents, was allegedly kidnapped by the former baby sitter and godmother, Krystle Tanner.

Living Together Before Marriage: Not Impacting Divorce

There used to be, especially in places like Texas and the rest of the South, some social stigma attached to living together before marriage. One of the reasons previously offered was that living together led to divorce because, presumably, it took the "shine" off marriage (doesn't marriage do that on its own?). Well, it turns out that living together before marriage is not leading to divorces, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This is probably good news because nearly 60 percent of couples live together before getting married.

How To Get a Divorce in Houston's Harris County?

Getting a divorce is like breaking a contract between two parties. Just as entering into the contract required certain formalities (the officiant, the signature, etc.), breaking it requires certain set of procedures as well. If and when there are children involved (not to mention property) then there are more steps to be taken and greater complexity. But at essence it boils down to one word: dissolution.

If you are looking for information on how to get a divorce in Houston's Harris County, here are some things you need to know.

Katy Perry Divorce Aftermath: She Advises Don't Get Married

Katy Perry's divorce from Russell Brand, as previously written about by FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog, went quite well for her financially. As well as a divorce can.

But Katy Perry's divorce has put her off from marriage enough to tell would be brides, don't get married, reports the New York Post.

Allen Iverson's Divorce: Estranged Wife Demands List of Lovers

Tawanna Iverson, the estranged wife of former NBA superstar Allen Iverson, is seeking a divorce and now wants a list of the names of all the women Allen allegedly slept with, reports TMZ.

Tawanna Iverson's request to Allen Iverson is pretty specific:

"... give the name and telephone number of every person other than your spouse whom you have had sexual relations and/or intimate physical contact from the date of the marriage to the date of trial."

What, you might ask, could be the reason to seek this information other than to try and make Allen Iverson look bad?

Actor Josh Lucas Married Now

Josh Lucas, the star of such films as Sweet Home Alabama, recently got hitched to his long-time girlfriend, reports The Houston Chronicle. The vows were exchanged secretly.

For what it’s worth, he decided to get married after being scared by a mountain lion, reports New York Daily News.

Houston Chef Sylvia Casares Shooting Arrest Made

Police have a suspect in the shooting of Houston chef Sylvia Casares, reports the Houston Chronicle. It is her ex-boyfriend, Michael Warren, who was arrested in Rosenberg.

Sylvia Casares who, among other things, ran a food truck called No Borders, was apparently shot at her Fulshear home. The assailant, allegedly Michael Warren, left in a black GMC Yukon. But police obviously caught up with him and have made the criminal arrest.

As for the Houston food fixture, she is expected to recover from the shooting, at which point more details about what led to the aggravated assault might get divulged.

Predicting Celebrity Divorce May Be A Science

Could divorce lawyers start using science to help their profession? It may happen, as predicting celebrity divorces may actually be a science, reports Time.

Established by science reporter John Tierney and statistician Garth Sundem, celebrity gossip might soon revealing the probability of celebrity divorces.

Under the formula of Tierney and Sundem, called the Sundem/Tierney Unified Celebrity Theory, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso would stay married, and that Britney Spears and K-Fed would break up.

What You Need To Know About Palimony

Before you can get to the question of what you need to know about palimony in Texas, you might be wondering, what is palimony?

According to the researchers at FindLaw, people use the term “palimony” to refer to support paid to an ex-partner when the couple was never married. Palimony is not a legal term and carries no legal significance. In fact, members of unmarried couples have no rights to support, unless the two have previously agreed on it. To avoid a tense disagreement about palimony, it is in the couple’s best interest to include whether or not support will be paid in a written agreement.

Dennis Quaid's Third Wife Divorces Him

Dennis Quaid's third wife will be divorcing him in Texas, reports The Associated Press.

Kimberly Buffington's divorce of Dennis Quaid occurred in Travis County and asks for spousal support and attorney's fees. Parties close to the matter believe that there will be a written agreement in place soon.

The couple are also parents to two children, twins named Zoe and Thomas, who were born in 2007.

Beyond International Women's Day: Texas Protective Orders Info

March 8, 2012, was International Women’s Day, reports The Los Angeles Times. In some countries, like Armenia and Mongolia, you get a day off on IWD, and in China, only women get to take the day off. The day is meant to celebrate women, but also to highlight issues that affect them.

Everyone from the Red Cross to the UN is also using the day to address issues of violence and gender equality. In terms of fighting violence against women in Texas, one of the best tools the law has on offer is a Texas protective order.

Abandoned Children Living In School Bus In Splendora

A pair of siblings, a girl and a boy, were discovered living in an abandoned school bus in Splendora, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Discovered by a postal worker, the eleven-year-old girl and her brother, a five-year-old, were found in the old bus on a lot along Three S Street near Circle H.

Word of Snooki's Engagement Trickling Out

The reality star, Snooki, from the (somehow) hit show Jersey Shore, is getting engaged to Jionni LaValle, reports E!Online.

Snooki is pregnant with LaValle's child as well.

Snooki, whose real name is Nicole Polizzi, could garner more attention from the reality show world with the engagement. She already has a spin-off show with fellow co-star JWoww in the works. In that show the two girls live in Jersey City (so basically New York, but still in New Jersey; it is important to be authentic).

Hand Surgeon Michael Brown Suing Ex-Wife Rachel Brown

The saga of hand surgeon Dr. Michael Brown’s divorce from ex-wife Rachel Brown continues on and on, like incurable carpal tunnel, as previously discussed by FindLaw’s Houston Family Law Blog.

The newest twist in the hand surgeon’s tale (not to be confused with the Handmaid’s Tale) comes as ProMed Inc., a business owned by Dr. Brown, is suing ex-wife Rachel Brown for unlawfully transferring and withdrawing funds from the bank accounts associated with the business, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Learn About the Marriage Age In Texas

The right to marry is considered very personal, and once the "age of majority" (when one can marry without the permission of a parent or guardian) is reached, it is the couple's sole decision whether or not to marry.

However, below this age, parental consent is required. The age of majority is now universally eighteen, except in Mississippi, where the parties need to be twenty-one.

While only three states, California, Kansas, and Massachusetts, have no statutory minimum age under which marriage licenses will not be issued, many states with a minimum age requirement do permit marriages between minors under that age.

Release of Liability to Deal with Mortgage in a Divorce

Though marriages end, houses keep on going, especially their mortgages.

So when one spouse keeps the family house, that means the other spouse must be removed from the mortgage. The usual way of accomplishing this is through loan refinancing, but the researchers at FindLaw also recommend another way, the release of liability.

Eligible couples can remove a spouse's name from a mortgage at a lower cost than refinancing through a release of liability.