The Houston Family Law Blog

September 2012 Archives

Ex-Houston Rocket Pleads No Contest to Choking Ex-Girlfriend

Just when you thought you'd heard enough about domestic violence and celebrities, there's something new hitting the airwaves.

This time, it's Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill who has pleaded no contest to attacking his now ex-girlfriend Darlene Luna, according to the Los Angeles Times. Hill had been playing for the Rockets until March 2012 when he was traded to L.A. However, he was back in Houston to enter his plea of no contest to a misdemeanor assault on a family member, which is a break from his original charge of felony assault on a family member.

The plea to a misdemeanor allows Hill to continue playing basketball, but he must still attend domestic violence counseling, pay a $500 fine and donate $100 to the Harris County domestic violence fund, according to the Times. He'll also face one year of probation.

'Baby Moses Law' Offers Safe Haven for Abandoned Newborns

It's always surprising to many parents that some mothers abandon their infants. Unfortunately, it was happening with enough frequency, and with fatal results, that the Texas legislature in 1999 passed the "Baby Moses Law" to provide an option to those who felt the need to abandon their newborns.

The law allows for a parent to leave a child at a fire station, hospital, or other emergency caregiver up to 60 days after the child's birth.

So how exactly does the law work?

Wife Shoots Husband Over Threat of Cat Violence

When you think of fights that end up in a shooting, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Infidelity? Drug dealers? Gangs?

How about a dispute over a harmless family cat? That's what allegedly happened between a married couple in northwest Harris County. Perhaps the man didn't know enough about his wife when he grabbed the cat and allegedly threatened to hurt it. His wife immediately grabbed a pistol and allegedly shot her husband in the abdomen, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Will the fact that the woman shot her husband affect her potential sentence?

Man Not Responsible for Financial Support of IVF Baby

In Vitro Fertilization, it is the miracle that many parents prayed for when they were not successful conceiving a child naturally. Generally, IVF does not raise many parental identity issues because it is very clear where the egg comes from, the sperm comes from, and who actually gives birth to the child.

However, when a man is not married to the woman going through IVF and the child is not genetically his, a paternity challenge could arise. Something like this happened in California. Tracey Smith and Gregory Carr were dating, with Carr financing a lavish lifestyle for the two. While they were involved, Carr paid for Smith's IVF treatment, according to Courthouse News Service. Two rounds of IVF did not work, but Carr proposed that the two get married and promised to financially support her for life.

Smith accepted the proposal and underwent a third IVF cycle before Carr abruptly cut off the engagement, according to Courthouse News. Smith claimed in a lawsuit that Carr promised to financially support the child that resulted. Could Carr be responsible for the child?

Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson Tackles Prenup in Divorce Filing

Sometimes a divorce is just waiting to happen. It's like you know it's coming, but for some reason the couple can't see it. You know you've seen it at least once in your life, even if it was just a break-up.

Finally, ex-NFL star Chad (formerly "Ochocinco") Johnson has admitted to himself that his marriage to Evelyn Lozada is not salvageable. He has filed divorce papers in a Florida court, according to TMZ. Johnson also requested that the court deny Lozada's request for attorneys fees because the couple's prenuptial agreement allegedly stated that both parties would pay for their own legal fees.

How can you make sure that your prenup holds up in court?

Postnuptials and You: It's Not Too Late If You Don't Have a Prenup

Well, to be honest, if you are married it is too late for a prenuptial agreement. But that's only because of the English language and all. The prefix "pre" means before, thus a prenup can only be before a wedding.

However, it's not too late to determine exactly where the money will go and who owns what after a marriage hits the skids (and before there's even a hint at anything besides marital bliss). This can happen with a document called a postnuptial agreement. As opposed to "pre," "post" means after, so it can be done directly after a wedding or even years after. You just need to follow the proper steps in writing and signing it.

Here's how it works:

How to Adopt an Adult in Texas

Is there an adult in your life who acts like a child? Or maybe you've married someone who has adult children, and you want them to inherit from you and enjoy other benefits of being in a parent-child relationship?

While there used to be limited reasons to adopt an adult, now there are definite financial benefits for an adult adoption. For example, now that children can be covered by a parent's medical insurance until they turn 26, adopting an adult child could allow that person to stay on your insurance.

So how do you adopt an adult in Texas?

La Porte Mom Sues Neighbor Over False Child-Abuse Report

Perhaps the age of helicopter parenting has reached such a fever pitch that even neighbors feel that parents need to be on top of their kids' every movement. Or maybe reporting your neighbor for child abuse is a new way to settle a beef.

Whatever the real motive was, Shelley Fuller of La Porte called police claiming that her neighbor Tammy Cooper had abandoned her children. The reason for Fuller's claim: Cooper had let her 6- and 9-year-old children ride scooters in their suburban cul-de-sac, according to Courthouse News Service. Cooper told the officer that she'd been watching her children from inside her house; Fuller allegedly claimed she'd hit one of the kids with her car. The officer arrested Cooper in front of her kids.

Cooper's charges were later dismissed. Now Cooper has filed suit against the police officer and Fuller for false arrest, claiming that Fuller lied to police, according to Courthouse News.

Can letting your kids play outside really equate to child abandonment?

Kelsey Grammer's Ex-Wife Camille to Get $30M in Divorce Settlement

Ah celebrities -- what would we talk about without them, especially when it comes to their legal disputes?

The latest person we can gossip about is Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille Grammer, who will receive about $30 million in the couple's divorce settlement, according to TMZ. Camille says that when she and Kelsey met, he was broke. So all of the assets that the couple possessed when they split were acquired during their marriage.

Was this settlement so different than what a court would have decided? The answer depends on the state where that court is located.

Man Under Restraining Order Killed in Crash After Chasing Wife

It seems a Cypress man did not learn anything from those Warner Brothers cartoons of the past. You can choose which you think is more relevant, Pepe Le Pew or Wylie T. Coyote.

Kevin Handy was allegedly chasing his estranged wife in his Jeep Grand Cherokee after an argument. The pursuit ended when Handy clipped the rear end of the woman's Nissan Altima, crashing his Jeep and eventually dying from his injuries, according to the Houston Chronicle. Handy's wife had filed a restraining order against him after a previous incident when he allegedly threw an object at his wife.

Why didn't the restraining order stop the alleged chase that led to Handy's death?