The Houston Family Law Blog

Why Get A Prenuptial Agreement In Texas?

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Some people in the Lone Star state might see the signing of a prenuptial agreement as unromantic, but Texas family law attorneys say that such a contract is a smart way to protect your finances during and after a marriage.

If you're thinking that prenuptial agreements are not traditional, think again! The Economic Times states that prenuptial agreements have been in existence in Europe and Far Eastern countries for thousands of years in some form or another. Prenups used to be most common in royal or rich families in order to protect their wealth and assets.

Texas Schools Teach the Financial Consequences of Sex

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High school students across the state of Texas are learning about the financial aspects of relationships, marriage, and children. Through programs like Parenting and Paternity Awareness (PAPA) and No Kidding, teenagers will learn about their legal obligations as parents and the costs associated with child support, parenting, and paternity.

USA Today reports that child support and paternity are at the basis of the PAPA program, where PAPA's 14-hour curriculum teaches teenagers about importance of father involvement and the value of paternity establishment. Students can also learn about the emotional and financial challenges of raising a child.

Skype Marriage In Texas Annulled

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A same-sex couple in Texas thought that they found a loophole to the state's ban on gay marriage by having a Washington D.C. based officiant perform their marriage via Skype. reports that the couple Mark Reed and Dante Walkup walked down the aisle earlier this year in a Dallas hotel while on a teleconference call  with Sheila Alexander-Reid, who officiated their wedding from the nation's capital. Prior to the wedding ceremony in Dallas, the couple had traveled to Washington D.C. to pick up a marriage license.

Does Divorce Affect Our Economy?

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A 2002 study called "Does Marital History Matter? Marital Status and Wealth Outcomes Among Preretirement Adults" suggested that high divorce rates can have a negative impact on the economy. The Huffington Post reports that the study cites court costs, welfare, food stamps, public housing and increased bankruptcy as factors that are associated with divorce. These factors are known to have a strong effect on the country's economic climate.

Jamie McCourt Entitled To Equal Ownership Of Dodgers

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It seems that the lengthy divorce case between Frank and Jamie McCourt is close to ending. Los Angeles Judge Scott Gordon ruled yesterday that Jamie McCourt is entitled to half of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team as part of her divorce from her ex-husband Frank McCourt, according to Yahoo! sports. Attorneys representing team owner Frank McCourt tried to argue that a marital agreement excluded the Dodgers team from the couple's community property, but the judge's ruling shows that Frank McCourt was ultimately defeated in this property division battle.

Marriage To Stepchild Or Stepparent In Texas

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While there's not usually a blood relationship between a stepchild and stepparent, it's still not legal for a stepparent to marry their current or former stepchild in the state of Texas. Section 6.206 of the Texas Family Code states that a marriage is void if a party is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other party.

Hence, a marriage between a former stepchild and stepparent pair can be grounds for annulment in Texas. Furthermore, a marriage between parents and children or a marriage between grandparents and grandchildren is illegal in every U.S. state. These types of incestuous marriages can be void by the family courts through an annulment. A marriage is also subject to annulment when one party is already married at the time of another marriage (bigamy).

Fraudulent Divorce Filing Leads To Lawsuit

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A woman from Harris County filed for a divorce from her husband George J. Prappas, but was surprised when she found out that she was no longer married.

The Southeast Texas Record reported that the wife Noelia Ayala Sunesara found out through her Texas family lawyer that her husband had already filed a divorce petition in January 2003. The attorney Scott P. Ogle discovered the already filed divorce petition when filing for the divorce on behalf of Noelia Ayala Sunesara.

Children Adopted In Houston During National Adoption Month

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More than 60 children that were once wards of the state now have permanent families after prospective parents went through the process of adoption. ABC News reported that on Friday November 19, a ceremony honored new families as 61 children that were in the custody of Child Protective Services were adopted on this day.

Child Custody: Virtual Visitation in Texas

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Many non-custodial parents are taking advantage of the Web cam technology offered through Google, AOL, Yahoo, and Skype. Parents are now able to "visit" their children without actually being in the same room as the kids through the use of video communication devices.

FindLaw KnowledgeBase states that Texas has a virtual visitation law in place through Family Code ยง153.015, which permits courts to order electronic communication with the child. Parents in Texas can also agree independently to an electronic communication schedule as part of their visitation plan through out of court proceedings. Texas became the third U.S. state to pass a virtual visitation law in 2007 after Utah and Wisconsin passed similar laws. Virtual visitation laws were later passed in Florida and North Carolina.

Where Will Tony Parker and Eva Longoria Divorce?

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San Antonio point guard Tony Parker filed for a dissolution of marriage last week in Texas just after his estranged wife Eva Longoria filed for the divorce in Los Angeles, CA. There seems to be some disagreement as to where their case should be heard.

The Los Angeles Times reports that there are probably a few reasons why Tony Parker wants the divorce case to be heard in the Lone Star state. First of all, there's a shorter waiting period for divorce cases in Texas, where an uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as 60 days from the date of the divorce filing. California, on the other hand, has a six month waiting period for a divorce.