Recently a Twitter user named @cxkenobkerry shared her advice on 20 things that people should do before getting married. While Twitter may not seem like the most traditional place to seek relationship or marriage advice, the Twitter thread went viral and was even featured on the Daily Mail. With this list reaching such a wide audience and with it now being October and therefore wedding season in Texas, it seems appropriate to analyze its contents from a perspective focused on family law in the Lone Star State.
What happens to the engagement ring if someone calls off the wedding?
Unfortunately, before some engaged couples can make it down the aisle to say “I do”, someone says “I don’t”. The issue of who gets to keep the engagement ring often surfaces during this heartbreaking time.
An engagement ring is a gift and the law requires three elements to constitute an irrevocable gift:
A Court in Houston recently reinforced the importance of honesty and full disclosure during the Collaborative Law process when it found that a husband potentially committed fraud by failing to disclose changing job circumstances. See Rawls v. Rawls, 2015 WL 5076283 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.).
A husband and wife in Houston chose to use Collaborative Law to complete their divorce proceedings in 2014. They successfully reached a settlement that included provisions for the wife to receive portions of her husband’s bonus over the next few years. Unfortunately, before the settlement agreement was signed, the husband received a job offer, which he failed to disclose to his wife, and he resigned from his job. Full and complete disclosures of such information is a critical part of the Collaborative Law process, because the goal is to make both parties feel safe to make informed decisions. The Houston Court is currently examining whether the husband committed fraud and breached a fiduciary duty under the Collaborative Law agreement he signed by concealing his job change from his former spouse during the collaborative law process. Continue Reading ›
In light of the specific issues that are faced by litigants in family law cases, the District Courts of Dallas County have promulgated a series of orders (collectively the “Dallas County Standing Order Regarding Children, Pets, Property and Conduct of the Parties”) that applies in every divorce suit and every suit affecting the parent-child relationship that is filed in Dallas County. The Courts have determined that the Standing Order is necessary “because the parties, their children, and the family pets should be protected and their property preserved while the lawsuit is pending before the Court.”
Cloud-based software, such as iCloud from Apple, has made sharing information like pictures, text messages, and communication a breeze. Families often link accounts to share music, pictures, and other media. Apple explains, “Set up iCloud on all your devices. The rest is automatic.” And when Apple says everything, it means everything. Lately, iCloud has provided a new way for spouses to learn about infidelity–when it pops up automatically on their screens.
Monique Honaman, a writer at the Huffington post, recently brought up some of the issues that accompany the automatic sharing of all of the data on your phone. In a column titled “iCaught on iCloud,” the author posts stories of people who found out about infidelity on iCloud. Continue Reading ›
Friday, June 26, 2015, was unquestionably a historic day in the realm of family law, constitutional law, and for the country as a whole. On this day, a majority of the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. Justice Kennedy, who delivered the majority opinion of the Court, was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in this momentous decision. Continue Reading ›
There has been a lot of talk in this country lately about recognition of same-sex marriage and same-sex divorce, but what about recognition of foreign divorces? In the melting pot that is the United States of America, divorce from foreign countries and their applicability to Texas family law cases are becoming increasingly common issues that are being addressed by trial and appellate courts in the Lone Star State.