Tessmer Law Firm, Author at Tessmer Law Firm - Page 21 of 23
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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

Texas law defines community property as all of the property acquired by either spouse during a marriage, except separate property.  Separate property is anything one spouse owned prior to the marriage, property inherited by only one spouse, property received as a gift by only one spouse and recoveries for personal injuries suffered by only one spouse – except for the portion of the award intended to compensate for lost earnings during the marriage.   All property is presumed to be community property, unless and until the party claiming it is separate can prove so by a preponderance of the evidence.  What sort...

In the Texas family court system, there are two kinds of property to be considered in a divorce: separate property and community property.  Separate property is solely owned by one spouse.  Community property is owned in equal shares by both spouses.  All property acquired during a marriage by either spouse is presumed to be community property.  A spouse that claims a particular property is separate must prove sole ownership.   The concept of separate and community property comes from the law of Castile and has been maintained in Texas since Spanish rule. In the early days, a wife could have separate property,...

The medical benefits program available to active duty service members, retirees, and family members is called TRICARE. After a divorce, a service member’s children continue to qualify for TRICARE. Unfortunately for civilian spouses, unless you meet some pretty stringent requirements, you will no longer qualify once you are divorced. You get to keep your TRICARE coverage only if all of the following things are true:   You do not qualify for health insurance through your own employment. You have not remarried. You meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 rule, meaning that you were married for at least 20 years, your spouse...

In Texas, both child support and spousal support awards may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. The normal Texas child support guidelines, worksheets and schedules are used to determine the proper amount of child support to be paid, but because military paychecks are unlike any other paychecks, it can be challenging to determine what a servicemember’s actual pay is. Start with the servicemember’s base salary. There is also a housing allowance, calculated using location, family commitments, and the servicemember’s pay grade. There are also pay differentials for hazardous assignments and other variations in responsibilities. It is...

If you are in the military, the SCRA is your friend: it can prevent a judge from issuing court orders that could affect your relationship with your children. If you are the non-military spouse, you may feel upset by the delays, because the law gives servicemembers extra time to respond to legal proceedings and allows them to request hearings be postponed until the servicemember can be there. The entire divorce case may be delayed, causing it to take a lot longer to get to the final judgment. That said, there are often issues related to children that need to be...

There are laws that protect an active duty soldier from being held in “default” for failing to respond to a divorce action. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), divorce proceedings may be postponed for the entire time an active duty servicemember is on duty and for up to 90 days thereafter.  An active duty spouse must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action in order for a Texas court to have jurisdiction.  In the case a divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse may not have to be served if he or she...

Family law matters concerning a member of the military create several unique issues compared to the typical civilian cases, as specific state and federal laws will apply. When one spouse (or both) are serving in the armed forces, a divorce is more complicated and there are different rules concerning jurisdiction, child custody, and health insurance and retirement benefits.  Servicemembers and civilian spouses should take the time to learn about the special issues involved in military family law matters and should seek an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable on the subject.   If you are one of the nearly 1.1 million active...

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against families with children. The landlord must rent to anyone, regardless of whether they are married, single, or have children. The only restrictions that may be placed are those that apply to everyone. For example, the number of occupants per unit may be limited. The major exception to this law is complexes intended for seniors. If a complex has 80% or more units occupied by at least one person over age 55, it is not required to accept children.   Unfortunately, disputes between landlords and their tenants are fairly common.  If you find...

A Texas landlord has the right to enter a tenant’s dwelling during emergencies, when conducting inspections and when making repairs. A landlord can specify other times when it is appropriate to enter a dwelling; however, the lease agreement must specify these times and the tenant must have signed the agreement. During an eviction, a landlord can enter the dwelling and remove the tenant’s possessions only after a judge has ruled for the tenant to leave the property, the tenant doesn't appeal the case within five days and the time line to vacate—seven days—has passed.   When Texas landlords feel that their life...

Although there are some specific exceptions, under Texas law, a dwelling must be equipped with security devices such as window latches, keyed dead bolts on exterior doors, sliding door pin locks and sliding door handle latches or sliding door security bars, and door viewers.  These devices must be installed at the landlord's expense. If such devices are missing or are defective, you have the right to request their installation or repair.   According to Chapter 92, Subsection C, of the Texas Property Code, a Texas landlord can ask a potential tenant for a security deposit as a condition to move in. The...