W. Tyler Moore, PC

September 2017 Archives

Beware of use of forms in divorce

Beware of use of forms in divorce. Too often, the unwary find forms for use in their divorce cases believing them to be what they need.  These forms are created for use in very simple cases involving little or no marital property and perhaps children. 

What to do if assets disappear before property division begins


High-asset couples in Houston may not have had to worry about money very much while married. However, once they decide to divorce, the topic of money must be addressed. When the divorce is very acrimonious, not only does each side want to see that they get their fair share of the marital assets, but they may even be tempted to do things to keep their ex from receiving anything at all. This can lead to the dissipation of assets.

Misconceptions in child custody & visitation

Misconceptions in child custody & visitation are more common than you think. I often get inquiries from individuals who want "sole custody" of their children.  Texas family law doesn't really provide for "sole custody" of children. It gives parents titles like Sole or Joint Managing Conservator and Possessory Conservator.  With such a title, parents then receive rights and duties to their children under a court order.  The most important rights are the right to establish the primary residence of the child, the right to receive child support and the right to primary possession of the child subject to the rights of the other parent under a possession order whether it's a Standard Possession Order or a custom possession order.   If you need clarification about these misconceptions in child custody & visitation cases. talk to an experienced family law attorney.

Protective Orders in Family Law and other cases

Protective Orders are not just available in Family Law cases. It's pretty well common knowledge that the Texas Family Code has provisions for a protective order if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.  In Harris County, there is one specific family law court that handles all applications for protective orders.  Family violence is an assaultive offense against a family member or a person with whom you have a dating relationship.  Any court in Texas with family law jurisdiction may enforce a protective order. Chapter 85 of the Family Code deals with these family violence protective orders.

Don't impersonate your spouse on line.

Don't impersonate your spouse on line. Doing so is a violation of the Texas Penal Code section 33.07.   It's a 3rd degree felony!  Being mad and getting even with your spouse or significant other is not worth the fall out.  That statute is worth reading before you go online and do a hatchet job.  It's illegal to use the name or persona of another person without consent and with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten any person to create a web page or post or send meesages on or through a commercial social netwoking site (like Facebook, Linkedin).

Wiretapping in divorce cases.

Wiretapping in divorce cases is fraught with danger for the unwary.  Both Federal and State laws govern a spouse's attempt to intercept, record, or use the other spouse's conversations.  The federal Wiretap Act is violated when any person intentionally intercepts, tries to intercept, or uses a third party to intercept or try to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic conversation.  Long story short: don't tap your wife's phone or place a "bug" where she has an expectation of privacy.

Update on Family Law Courts

Update on Family Law Courts after Harvey, thanks to Judge Sylvia Matthews: The District Clerk's Office issued jury summons for jury service to resume on October 16, 2017.   Civil District Courts, Probate Courts, and Civil County Courts are not calling Jury trials through the end of October.  The family courts, juvenile courts and criminal coruts will be the priority for jury calls in October.

Divorced or not? One marriage at a time

One marriage at a time is the rule in Texas.  I've had inquiries from people who were upset to learn the divorce in their previous marriage, for one reason or another, had not been finalized.  This revelation came during the second "marriage"  and  caused some concern as to the status of the current "spouse".  The law in Texas recognizes only one marriage at a time.  If for some reason, the first divorce is not final, the only solution is to make it final by finishing the divorce. Once the first marriage is declared at an end by divorce, then the second marriage may be recognized as valid without the necessity of a formal marriage cerremony--lf the requirements for a common law marriage are met.  BUT the second marriage cannot be retroactive to a date before the end of the first marriage.  

Protect your interest in a family business in a divorce

Protect your interest in a family business in a divorce.  If it is a partnership, a corporation, llc, or proprietorship, get professional advice. You need a lawyer to help you value the business and get your fair share of it when the marriage ends.  One of the worst positions to be in is to be in business with your exspouse.  Very few couples can make that situation work.   Remember, human nature being what it is, if a couple is divorcing, they are not going to look out for each other's best interest.  The fiduciary relationship that exists between husband and wife ends when the divorce is granted.  Don't count on your ex to "be fair" in the future. Protect yourself by hiring an experienced divorce attorney. Talk to W. Tyler Moore at [email protected], 713-929-2242, 5005 Woodway, Suite 201, Houston, TX 77056--just off the West Loop.

Don't buy into the child support threat

Don't buy into the child support threat. I spoke to a young mother today who had a three year old child whose father was not paying child support. She said he wasn't paying child support and I asked why.  She told me that he threatened to file for custody and take the child away from her if she "tried to put child support" on him.  This fellow had three other children by two other women.  He did not have custody of any of the three.

Be honest with your child custody lawyer

Be honest with your child custody lawyer.  Lawyers need to know all the relevant facts in their cases.  Of course, your lawyer needs to know the good points of your case. Most importantly, your lawyer needs to know the bad points, warts and all, as early as possible.  You can count on the "bad" facts being brought out in court whether or not you want them to.  Your lawyer needs to know what they are in order to deal with them as positively as possible.   Don't be embarrassed to tell your lawyer what he/she needs to know that may be used against you in your child custody case.

Premarital property agreements in family law cases

Premarital property agreements in family law cases are becoming more commmon in Texas.  People are marrying later in life than in the past, after they have acquired assets and have net worth they may want to protect.  Texas law recognizes the validity of premarital and postmarital property agreements in divorce cases. The validity depends on whether or not the agreements follow the statutory requirements for either a premarital or postmarital agreement.  The requirements are not the same.

Texas Lawyer's Creed in Divorce cases

The Texas Lawyer's Creed is a code of conduct for all Texas Lawyers. It governs their conduct towards their clients, their opposing counsel, and the court.  It requires civility and professionalism in all dealings but does not obstruct furtherance of clients' goals in litigation.

child custody- use it or lose it

Child custody - use it or lose it.  Texas has a Standard Possession Order for children three years of age or older. That Standard Possession Order (or SPO) grants frequent and regular possession of minor children to the parent who is not the primary custodian.

Is adultery a property divisionissue in Texas divorces?

Is adultery a property division issue in Texas divorces?  Adultery may be the reason for a divorce in Texas if the spouses cannot reconcile their differences.  As a practical matter, adultery is one of the factors a judge may consider in making a disproportionate division of the marital estate along with a variety of other factors such as disproportionate earning capacity of the spouses, the respective needs of the spouses, and other factors.  It is a fact that the issue of adultery may be considered by cynical lawyers and judges as a question of the chicken or the egg. In other words, judges may not consider adultery as a key issue unless the children are exposed to the paramour.  That being said, it's good to have ammunition such as proof of adultery if it exists.

Is adultery a property divisionissue in Texas divorces?

Is adultery a property division issue in Texas divorces?  Adultery may be the reason for a divorce in Texas if the spouses cannot reconcile their differences.  As a practical matter, adultery is one of the factors a judge may consider in making a disproportionate division of the marital estate along with a variety of other factors such as disproportionate earning capacity of the spouses, the respective needs of the spouses, and other factors.  It is a fact that the issue of adultery may be considered by cynical lawyers and judges as a question of the chicken or the egg. In other words, judges may not consider adultery as a key issue unless the children are exposed to the paramour.  That being said, it's good to have ammunition such as proof of adultery if it exists.

Absent a marriage there is no community property to divide

Absent a marriage, there is no community property to divide when the relationship ends.  If couple has a ceremonial marriage by a judge or by a minister or priest, there may be community property.  If a couple meets the requirements for a common-law marriage, in Texas, there may be community property to divide.  This is so whether the marriage is between heterosexual couples or same-sex.  

Temporary Orders in Family Law Cases in Harris County

Temporary Orders in Family Law Cases in Harris County are a large part of a court's family law docket. Once a divorce is filed, questions arise: who will live in the house, who will pay what bills, will one spouse receive temporary spousal support from the other, where will the children live, what rights will the parents have regarding the children while the divorce is pending, how much child support will be paid, what visitation will the parents have.  These are examples of what a family law court will have to decide once a divorce case is filed.

In Divorce can a spouse throw the other out of a house

Can a spouse throw the other out of a house in an argument ?  Short answer is "no", even in a divorce situation. One spouse may seek to exclude the other spouse from the house only by court order.

What provisions should a parenting plan in Texas contain?


Parents in Texas who are going through a divorce may have a certain degree of animosity towards one another. However, some of them are willing to put their negative feelings behind them and work together with their ex to negotiate a parenting plan out of court. This may be in the best interests of the child, as the child's parents know the child's needs best. Also, establishing a parenting plan out of court establishes the groundwork for future communication and cooperation -- two things that parents will face as they parent separately after the divorce.

Don't count on Attorneys' fees as damages when you file suit business litigation

Don't count on attorneys' fees when you file suit. Attorneys' fees are allowed as part of a lawsuit by only specifically by statute or by contract.  If not specifically allowed by contract, then a litigant needs to ask his/her attorney if they are allowed by statute.  If not, you don't get your attorneys' fees.

Storm damage in Houston and insurance

With storm damage in Houston, Texas, people wonder if their insurance policies will covery their loss.  Given that there is flood insurance, windstorm insurance, homeowners's insurance, commercial property damage, renters' insurance, it's really important to get copies of your policies and take them to a lawyer to review them to detemine which may apply. 

Unreimbursed med expenses as child support in child support cases

Unreimbursed medical expenses in child custody cases are considered child support and are generally owed under a child support order.  If a child's parent owes you for unreimbursed medical expenses incurred in behalf of the child, don't wait too long to pursue the collection either by enforcement by contempt or reduce the unreimbursed med expense to judgment and get a court order for payment.

Child custody requires a court order

Child custody requires a court order.   What happens when a parent with custody drops the child off and says he/she now no longer wants custody? Just because the parent with custody of the child drops the child off and says he/she no longer wants custody, that won't prevent the parent from later demanding the return of the child.  Custody orders remain in force until they are modified by the court with jurisdiction over the child.  Visit www.wtylermoore.com for more information or call 713-929-2242 and ask for W Tyler Moore.

update on Harris County Courts

The full division of Family Trial Courts are open and operational today, including uncontested dockets, ancillary dockets and already scheduled trial dockets.  Call the court in which your case is set to determine start time.

Child custody evaluations

Child custody evaluations by trained psychologists are a consideration in child custody suits if you have the time and money to spend on them.  It takes an experienced child custody lawyer to know if such an evaluation might be appropriate in a particular case. Clients' personalities and "warts" may indicate an evaluation is definitely not the way to go.  Talk to W Tyler Moore at 713-929-2242 to set up an appointment to discuss your custody situation.

"uncontested divorce"

"Uncontested divorce" is a misleading term. When people agree to get a divorce, it is not necessarily an uncontested divorce. Differences of opinion may exist as to whether property is marital or separate, how to divide property, who keeps the family business, should it be sold, the value of the family business, whether to pay spousal support, who will have primary custody of the children, what possession or access of the children will be, how much child support will be paid are some of the issues to be addressed in an "uncontested divorce".

Houston Top Divorce Lawyers W. Tyler Moore [email protected] 713-929-2242

W Tyler Moore is consistently rated among Top Houston Divorce Attorneys by H Magazine.  Over 40 years experience winning child custody suits.  One of 47 Attorneys in TEXAS with Board Certifications in Civil Trial Law and Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Let him help you through your divorce or custody modification.  Located at 5005 Woodway, Suite 201, Houston, TX 77056 - just off the West Loop.  713-929-2242.   [email protected]

Houston Top Divorce Lawyers W. Tyler Moore [email protected] 713-929-2242

W Tyler Moore is consistently rated among Top Houston Divorce Attorneys by H Magazine.  Over 40 years experience winning child custody suits.  One of 47 Attorneys in TEXAS with Board Certifications in Civil Trial Law and Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Let him help you through your divorce or custody modification.  Located at 5005 Woodway, Suite 201, Houston, TX 77056 - just off the West Loop.  713-929-2242.   [email protected]

Be wary of

Protecting separate property from marital property when it comes to divorce is very important. This is because, in Texas, marital property is considered to be owned by both parties and is part of the divisible estate, while separate property is not. Determining what property is marital and what property is separate may seem straightforward, but, in actuality, it can become confusing.

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