The Houston Family Law Blog

Other Family Law Issues in Houston

Other Family Law issues that affect Houstonians include everything from domestic violence, to the foster care system. Domestic violence, for instance is something that affects millions of Texans. Many times people in the midst of abuse do not realize that they are being abused or what rights they have -- from filing a protective order to moving out -- and talking to a lawyer can help address many of these issues. Due to the complexity of this and many of the other family law issues, you should speak to a competent Houston family law attorney.

Recently in Other Family Law Issues Category

Texas Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down, No Marriages Yet

Same-sex couples and their supporters rejoice: A federal judge has struck down Texas's ban on same-sex marriage because it violated the U.S. Constitution, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Although the ban was struck down, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia stayed his decision, which means that the ban will remain in effect until the decision is appealed.

So until the ban is appealed, same-sex couples in Texas won't be able to get married.

Can Family Members Be Your Will Witnesses?

When drafting a will, it's important to know if family members can be witnesses to your will.

In most states, witnesses to a will aren't allowed to also be named as beneficiaries. Since most wills leave gifts to family members or heirs, having them witness your will could leave it open to challenges or force your family members to lose what you've left them.

So what are the requirements to form a will in Texas? And what happens if your family member is a witness?

Does the 'Family Car Doctrine' Apply in Texas?

Does the "family car doctrine" apply in Texas?

First off, what does this doctrine mean? The family car doctrine, otherwise known as the family purpose doctrine, is applied in certain negligence cases where liability is pinned on the owner of a car for the damage caused by a family member while operating that car. It's based on the idea that a car is provided for use by the family as a unit.

So, if a teenage son crashed the family car under his dad's name, his dad could be held responsible under the family car doctrine.

What does Texas have to say about the family car doctrine? Here's an overview:

Stepparents Can Get Visitation Rights Too

Though we see it most often in Hollywood, stepparents can play an important role in raising a child. In many states including Texas, it is possible for stepparents to get visitation rights after divorcing the child's birth parent.

But getting stepparent visitation rights is no easy matter. In most cases, the court will show a strong preference to the natural parents' wishes.

Still, the court will consider a variety of factors to make a decision about granting visitation orders.

How to Report Child Abuse in Texas: 10 Signs of Child Abuse

Child abuse is terrible ordeal. The state of Texas has avenues in place for reporting child abuse, but many people often ignore the signs.

Under Texas law, there is an obligation to report child abuse or elder abuse. That means that if you believe someone is being abused, you have to report it to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Failure to report child abuse could result in a misdemeanor charge, or even a felony.

How do you know that someone is a victim of child abuse?

Is Octomom a Bad Mother? Back on Welfare After Rehab

Octomom Nadya Suleman is on welfare, according to US Magazine .

This is just five months after getting off welfare. She is reportedly receiving $1,800 a month for food. $1,000 for emergency cash and money for health and medical help.

She was able to take a temporary hiatus from welfare after earning some money through stripping and making pornographic videos.

Texas CPS Under Investigation After Girl's Death at Air Base

Child abuse is normally the task of Texas Child Protective Services to investigate. But who investigates CPS when they drop the ball?

Texas' Child Protective Services is under investigation, reports The New American. Accusations are flying that agency officials dropped the ball and withheld vital information in a child fatality case.

As a result, police are all over the CPS now, conducting searches and seizing files to assess what happened.

Talia Nichelle Lumpkin Charged, Leaves Baby on Road

You've heard of parents who leave their children unattended in parked cars.

But here's a Houston woman who left her thirteen-month old in a parking lot.

Yeah, a parking lot. Not a parked car.

The poor munchkin was found lying on the road with multiple abrasions on her arms, back and legs, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Elizabeth Escalona Gets 99 Years for Gluing Child to Wall

Last week, we talked about the sad case of Elizabeth Escalona, who was facing a sentencing hearing after being convicted on counts of child abuse in Dallas.

She has now been sentenced to 99 years in prison for the attack on her two-year old daughter.

Escalona pleaded guilty in July to the charges of child abuse. The details of her case are grim and not for the faint of heart. In September 2011, she beat her two year old daughter, Jocelyn Cedillo, to the brink of death. The child was kicked in the stomach and hit with a milk jug, writes The Dallas News.

Texas Mom Faces Life After Gluing Toddler's Hands to Wall

This week, Dallas courts are hearing testimony in the sentencing hearing of a woman who pleaded guilty to a horrific case of child abuse against her two year old child, reports The Associated Press.

Elizabeth Escalona pleaded guilty in July to child abuse. She was accused of beating her daughter and gluing her hands to the wall, after the toddler was having trouble potty training.