The Houston Family Law Blog

August 2010 Archives

Cheryl Hines and Paul Young File For Divorce

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It seems like marriages often don't last forever in Hollywood. This year, in particular, we've seen a lot of celebrity breakups and celebrity divorces. According to E! Online, Cheryl Hines is just one more actress to add to the list of female television stars that are looking to dissolve their marriages.

Cheryl Hines reportedly filed for a divorce on July 20, looking to put an end to her eight year marriage with producer and Manager Paul Young. The actress is currently best known for her role as Larry David's wife on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. However, in the real world Cheryl has a life of her own with Paul Young and a 6-year-old daughter named Catherine Rose. Together, the couple is looking to share custody of their daughter once the divorce process is finalized.

Parenting and Paternity Awareness Program in Texas Schools

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Four out of five kids will grow up to be parents. So, wouldn't it be a good idea for children to learn how to be good parents while they're still in school? Lawmakers of the 80th Session of the Texas Legislature certainly thought so.

The Office of the Attorney General states that House Bill 2176 requires all school districts to incorporate the Parenting and Paternity Awareness (PAPA) program into their high school health curriculum. The purpose of this program is to teach students about the rights and responsibilities of parenting. The PAPA curriculum focuses on the importance of father involvement, the value of paternity establishment, and the legal criteria of child support. Perhaps today's youth will come out of high school knowing quite a bit about family law.

August is Child Support Awareness Month

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According to the Child Support Director's Association (CSDA), August has been proclaimed Child Support Awareness Month. This means that both the federal government and various local governments around the country are raising awareness about the importance of paying child support this month.
Another celebrity couple have tied the knot in California, but this time around we're seeing smart choices with the bride and groom signing a prenuptial agreement before their wedding day. The New York Post reports that Edmonton Oiler star Mike Comrie and former Disney Channel star Hillary Duff established a pre-marital agreement to protect their assets. In the case of Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie, it seems like they both have a very good reason to do this. Mike Comrie's family reportedly owns the furniture and appliance retailer The Brick, which is worth $500 million. Hillary Duff has also made a lot of money as the star of Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire. She has also brought in a lot of money and fame through acting gigs, pop albums and a signature fragrance line.
The Southeast Texas record reports that a Texan man had asked his 11-year-old son to mow the lawn one day and when the mower broke, he asked his son to get down on his hands and knees to cut the grass with a pair of scissors. Obviously this is not a fun activity for a pre-teen boy, so the child ran away from the yard when his father was not looking and went to a friend's house to ask his mother, who is divorced from his father, to come pick him up.

Texan Woman Discovers She's Not a U.S. Citizen at Age 48

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Alexis Stevens, now 52, found out that she wasn't a U.S. citizen the hard way. According to News-Press, the woman applied for a passport four years ago so that she can go on a trip to Europe. Yet the woman was never able to receive a U.S. passport because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services found that she was not actually a U.S citizen.

The woman was born in England but she was adopted by a couple who went through the adoption process in Texas. At the age of 3, Alexis Stevens obtained a Texas birth certificate, but the naturalization process was never completed. Because she voted without being a U.S. citizen in several elections, she now fears that she will be deported.

Foster Father Tahrick Perry Accused of Child Abuse

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Tahrick Perry used to have three foster children and two biological children living in his West Houston home, however the dad was forced to surrender the children to Child Protective Services after child abuse allegations.

KIAH TV reports that Tahrick Perry took one of his babies to the doctor after he noticed that the child had a swollen leg. He said that one of his other children had fallen on top of the baby while they were in a car. A series of test showed that the baby had a broken leg, two skull fractures and seven broken ribs, which were not consistent with Perry's story. The father's biological children also said that they saw their father hit, shake and throw the baby for crying.

El Paso County Officials Conduct Child Support Roundup

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It some states it's rare for a person to be arrested for not paying child support. However, Texans should watch out because simply being delinquent on child support can mean serious business. The Cherokeean Herald reported that 20 parents in El Paso County were arrested earlier this week during a sweep, which focused on parents who are the subject of arrest warrants due to not paying their court-ordered child support.

The sweep kicked off at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday when Sheriff Richard Wiles dispatched six teams of law enforcement officers to arrest the deadbeat parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day. When a person is arrested in Texas for failing to pay child support and goes to jail, the bail bonds posted are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.

Church Leader Ordered to Pay $148,000 in Child Support

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A bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Zion Ranch has been ordered to pay $148,000 in child support to his former wife Carolyn Jessop so that she can take care of her eight children. The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that the large sum of money comes after seven years of no child support order.

Houston Mother Has Quintuplets Birth

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CBS news reports that 30-year-old Veronica Real-Mayorga gave birth to quintuplets in a Houston hospital last Saturday after 29 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. While the five babies were born 11 weeks early, the average gestation period for a quintuplets birth is just 28 weeks -- quints are almost always born premature.  The babies were all born between 2 1/2 and four pounds.

The story of transgender Nikki Araguz, the widow of a Wharton firefighter killed in the line of duty, has drawn attention to people all over Harris County and family law attorneys across the country. The parents of the deceased firefighter are trying to annul his marriage with Nikki Araguz even after his death so that the widow won't get his $500,000 in death benefits.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Nikki Araguz was born a male, but had a court order to undergo gender surgery after being diagnosed with a genetic disorder that kept her from growing into a fully developed man. The family of Wharton firefighter Thomas Araguz III claims that their son never knew of his wife's sex change, which are grounds for an annulment.

Get Help Paying Child Support Through NCP Choices Program

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If a non-custodial parent is having trouble making child support payments either because he or she is unemployed or because the parent earns a low-income, then the parent may be able to get help from the Non-custodial Parent (NCP) Choices Program in Texas.

The San Antonio Express reports that this program was implemented across the state of Texas in 2005 in hopes of helping low-income unemployed or underemployed noncustodial parents who are behind on their child support payments and whose children are current or former recipients of public assistance. The program is a collaborative effort of the attorney general's office and the Texas Workforce Commission.