How are marriages ended? Marriages are ended either death or divorce. I had an interesting question posed to me today. A couple were separated and a divorce had been filed. During the pendency of the divorce, the husband died in an accident. A third party wanted to know if it was possible to get the divorce granted or alternatively, to try to have the marriage annulled because of an alleged fraud committed by the surviving wife. The short answer is "NO". Until the parties were granted a divorce, they were married in the eyes of the law. The surviving wife was the widow entitled to her share of the estate under the law. As for an annulment, the only parties who could raise that issue were the husband and wife. The husband died and the wife wasn't interested in trying to annul the marriage. Long story short, the deceased left a widow.\
Family Law- help your lawyer help you. Like Jerry Maguire said, "help me help you". When your family law attorney asks you for help gathering documents or other information, be attentive to that request. For example, in a family law case, your lawyer may need documents for a temporary orders hearing. The lawyer will need your help in preparation of your Financial Information Statement which details what your monthly expenses are and the sources of your income. Only you know what it costs you to live each month and how much cash you have available for that purpose. When your lawyer asks you to compile this F.I.S., get it done promptly so you and your lawyer can discuss it together. In particular, be accurate in your estimations of your monthly expenses. You may well have to justify each and every one to a judge. So, getting it prepared quickly helps your lawyer help you.
Why have temporary orders in a divorce? Between the time a divorce is filed and the final divorce decree is entered, there often must be some controls in place concerning children and property. These controls are the temporary orders entered by the Court either by agreement of the parties or after a hearing.
Divorce and restraining orders in Texas: If served with a restraining order in a divorce suit, you should read it carefully. Generally speaking, the language will say the Respondent is immediately restrained from ... a specific list of things. The list will usually be numbered. Read each item on the list. The list is your list of commandments. If you don't understand the order, take it to an experienced family law attorney to decipher it for you. You will need the lawyer to go to court with you when the applicant has a hearing to expand the restraining order into a temporary injunction during the pendency of the litigation.
Thoughts about divorce by a divorce lawyer: A divorce is nothing to enter into lightly or on a whim. Threatening a spouse with it is like threatening thermonuclear war between nations. Divorce should be a last resort when there is no hope for the marriage, when one spouse cannot continue in the relationship and remain mentally or physically healthy, when counseling would be a waste of time, when the relationship is toxic to the spouses and to the children, or when the other spouse refuses to try to save the marriage.
Why do you need a family law attorney? After all, there are forms available on line and all you need do is fill in the blanks. A problem with forms is they often need to be tailored to fit the circumstances. Another problem with forms is the forms often do not apply. I saw an instance where a person asked which forms should she take to court in 60 days when she was going to have a hearing on child custody. When you have a contested hearing, you should take a lawyer with you. There are appropriate forms such as a financial information sheet, a proposed parenting plan, and an exhibit list which may be necessary to help the judge. But, you need a lawyer to present your case.
The amount of alimony is limited in Texas. Chapter 8 of the Family Code talks about "court ordered maintenance" which lay people refer to as alimony. That chapter of the code is specific as to who may receive alimony, under what circumstances, for how long, and a cap on the monthly payments.
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 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.
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.