The Houston Family Law Blog

July 2012 Archives

Divorce and Division of Property: Here's a Guide to Help

Besides children, the most difficult part of a divorce is splitting the stuff. What was once the wonderful “ours” has now become the combative “mine.” Needless to say this has spawned many drawn out divorces and made many a lawyer some extra dollars.

You see, while most states have clear laws dividing property, there is always wiggle room. Like in Texas, where the law says that all marital property is split 50/50, but with the wiggle room that a judge can award more to one spouse on fairness grounds.

How do you figure these things out?

Kristen Stewart Drives Wooden Stake Through Pattinson's Heart

Oh, on screen romance, why can't you last forever? We so love to see love onscreen transfer off screen, especially when it involves our favorite Twilight vampire. It didn't even matter if you were on Team Jacob, you wanted Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson to be together forever.

If you don't know what's going on yet, Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders have admitted to having an affair behind their partners' backs, reports the Houston Chronicle. The biggest issue here is that Sanders is 41 and married with kids, while Stewart is 22 and lived with Pattinson, according to People.

Sanders sure has some family law issues to sort out, but what about Stewart?

New Trend in Divorce Lawyers for Men; Is There a Need?

Often the thought is that when there's a divorce, it's the wife that needs to lawyer up and make sure her rights are represented. It is likely that this is how a majority of attorneys are marketing themselves, someone to stand up for a woman's rights and get her everything that she is entitled to.

But what about the guys?

Some attorneys have realized that men are not always being served properly in divorce situations, with those not specializing missing points that could help with issues like visitation and property division, according to The Wall Street Journal. The specialization also helps to deal with the biases and challenges that can face men in a divorce situation.

Texas Couple has Booming Cookie Business; Is It Marital Property?

Say you're an entrepreneur that has been running a successful small business for a few years before you meet that person of your dreams. Since the business is still new, you are still the sole owner of the business. Now that you want to get married, does your business become marital property?

Tiffany and Leon Chen are a married couple that started out as business partners in Tiffany's Treats, a company that delivers hot cookies. The two have been working together since they were in college, according to KHOU-TV.

So how does their marriage change the ownership of their business, if at all?

Facebook Leads to Stabbed Husband, or Was it PCP? Divorce Better?

What could be so surprising on Facebook that would cause a wife to go mad with rage? Isn't it a requirement that spouses be Facebook "friends" to show the world that this is my woman or my man? Possibly one spouse is a Facebook denier that can't be bothered with having to see their high school friends' successes and failures.

One Bryan couple is dealing with the aftermath of Facebook gone wrong, or a PCP fueled insano-rage, depending which spouse you want to believe. Rhonda Roshell Washington allegedly stabbed her husband in the hand after, in her words, he started a fight with her because he was on PCP and crazy, according to The Bryan College Station Eagle.

John Cena Divorce Settles After Nasty Beginning

So why is it that so many marriages end up in divorce? Some claim a failure of morals or a degradation of culture, and yet others blame housing remodels.

Wrestling star John Cena claims that the end of his marriage began with the remodeling of his and wife Elizabeth's home in Florida, according to This downfall inspired Cena to divorce his high school sweetheart wife of three years. Once divorce papers were filed, everything went out the window as Elizabeth Cena filed an opposition claiming the divorce papers contained errors.

Now, the two have settled their divorce outside of court in a confidential settlement, reports TMZ. This settlement raises the issue of how divorces can be obtained.

Miracle Mom Having Twins at 42; What if You Deal with Infertility?

A year ago, a Houston mother was asked by her young son for a sibling. At 41, the mother, Zel Burns, and her husband Errol were doubtful, but decided they would attempt to give their son the sibling he so desired. Now 42, the miracle mom Zel Burns is nearing the end of her pregnancy with twin girls without the help of fertility treatments, according to KHOU-TV.

What about those of us that are not as lucky as the Burns family? Infertility affects almost 12% of women 15-44, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This statistic only means that there is more difficulty with becoming pregnant, not full infertility. Now there are many options when it comes to infertility, and these options come with legal questions as well.

Two Toddlers Barefoot and Alone in Houston Park; CPS Returned Home

Wednesday, two boys, aged 3 and 4 were found wandering barefoot and alone in Schnur Park, reports KTRK Houston. The people that found the boys called police, who transported the boys to Children's Protective Services (CPS) on Chimeny Rock.

It was later discovered that the two boys had been taken by good friend of the family "G Money," according to KHOU. The boys' grandmother, Patricia Jones, said that the family friend usually takes the boys to the park but that on Wednesday, he "drank too much beer," according to KTRK.

Sean Payton Divorce: Not as Easy as Being Suspended

Sean Payton has not had the best time in 2012. First he was suspended for the entire 2012 season following the whole bounty debacle, reported the Associated Press. Now both he and his wife Beth Payton have filed opposing divorce petitions in Tarrant County, according to the Times-Picayune.

Sean Payton filed his petition on June 14th, requesting that their marital estate be divided outside of court and the two to have joint custody of their two children, reports the Times-Picayune. However, on June 26 Beth Payton filed her petition, which requested sole custody of the children, child support from Sean Payton, limited visitation for Mr. Payton, and for her to be the exclusive decision-maker in the children’s health, legal, and educational interests.

TomKat Divorce Settled; Lawyers Out of Luck

Well, it looks like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes aren’t as crazy as the media makes them out to be. Instead, their calm decision to negotiate a divorce settlement rather than have a drawn out court battle royale has ended up in a signed settlement as of Monday, according to TMZ.

This looks like it will be good for both sides, as the negotiations are to cover every aspect of the divorce, from property settlement to child custody and visitation, reports TMZ. It’s even reported that the settlement could be ratified in New York, depriving Cruise’s attorneys the fees required to file the paperwork to move the whole shebang to California.

So besides depriving their lawyers the fees that would have been racked up in multiple court hearings, what else has this settlement covered?

Dallas Mother Tries to Sell Child in Classifieds; That'll Work

It has probably crossed every parent's mind at one point while they're raising their children. That thought that maybe they could just use some time away from the kids and regroup and refresh.

One woman took this idea to the extreme and thought that maybe she could profit off of it in the meantime. Brittany Hill, a Dallas mother, thought that $4,000 was a fair price for her baby, so she allegedly put the baby boy "Eden" up for sale in the classifieds, reports WFAA TV. A woman from out of state traveled to Dallas to purchase the boy, but then got cold feet and called the cops.

TomKat Divorce: Katie Wants Legal Custody

If you haven't heard (yeah right) that Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, surprise! They have! Holmes filed for divorce in New York, where she has an apartment, according to the Huffington Post.

It seemed so perfect, didn't it? Only 17 years separated the two, making Cruise old enough to be Holmes' father, albeit a young one. Now it is Cruise's actual fatherhood that is being speculated to be the reason for the split. The press also speculates the filing is happening in New York for the state's child custody rulings, according to TMZ.

So what would happen here in Texas?