Tessmer Law Firm, Author at Tessmer Law Firm - Page 5 of 30
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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

There is one key principle to remember when splitting debts in a divorce.   Any agreement reached involving the assignment of a debt is binding between the spouses. Generally, the agreement does not extend to creditors. A proper divorce settlement will take several factors into account, such as:   when the debt was acquired; the names on the debt account; and how ownership of the asset associated with the debt – for example, a vehicle – is structured.   Often, the credit of both spouses is used to get a loan. A creditor has the right to pursue either spouse for the debt. It does...

Community property does not just include things like real estate, household belongings, and vehicles.  It also includes intangible property such as income, dividends, benefits and debts.  All community property must be divided when the marriage ends, and all of the debts as well.   In some cases, when a court awards a portion of one spouse’s retirement benefits to the other spouse, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared to be sent to the employer, who will be ordered to distribute benefits to each spouse in accordance with the court’s order.  A QDRO is not a “google and do-it-yourself” document. ...

Heather Tessmer, owner of Tessmer Law Firm, P.L.L.C., was recently chosen for the following honors:   2016 Top Lawyer - S.A. Scene Magazine 2016 Top Personal Injury Lawyer - S.A. Scene Magazine NAWBO San Antonio Board of Directors St. Mary's Law Alumni Association Board of Directors   Way to go Heather! Keep up the good work in our community!...

In the division of property in a Texas divorce, there are two kinds of property to be considered: 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,...

  We have complied a list of the most frequently asked questions on the subject of common law - or informal - marriage in Texas. Remember, in order to have a common law marriage a couple must: live together as man and wife in Texas; agree to be married; and represent themselves as married in Texas. i.e., tell others they are married.   My common law spouse and I are moving outside of Texas. Will we still be married? It depends on the state. Most states do not recognize common law marriage. Look up the laws in that state and consult a lawyer.   What are examples...

Dissolving a Common Law Marriage   In order to end a common law marriage you must file for divorce. The first step, however, is proving the marriage existed.   Proving a Common Law Marriage   Texas courts generally give two years from the end of the relationship for a person to prove a common law, or informal, marriage and file for divorce. After two years the court assumes that there was no agreement of marriage.   Some examples of proof of an informal marriage are: joint tax statements; leases signed as husband and wife; insurance forms filed as husband and wife; a signed declaration of marriage; and sworn...

Entering into a Common Law Marriage If you would like to enter a common law marriage you must be:over 18; marrying someone of the opposite sex; not related to your future spouse and not currently married. Nobody under the age of 18 may enter into a common law marriage, even with parental approval. In addition to being over 18, you must be a mixed gender couple. A Texas judge recently ruled the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional during a lawsuit involving a same-sex common law marriage. However, the status of same-sex marriage remains in legal limbo. Finally, both parties must be single....

In Texas common law marriage, or informal marriage, is a form of marriage that confers all the same rights as what we recognize as a formal or traditional marriage.   Prior to its independence, Texas laws were based on Spanish and European civil laws. In 1840, The Republic of Texas adopted the English system of laws known as “common law.” This mixing of legal systems is why Texas is one of the few states to recognize both traditional and common law marriage as legally equivalent.   Most informal marriages become important at the end of the marriage. For example, a spouse is entitled to half...

Here are the final two questions to wrap up our week on the subject of child support.   When does child support end?   In Texas, the law generally requires that the non-custodial parent pay child support until the child turns 18, or when he/she graduates high school – whichever comes later. There are other exceptions to the law, for example in the case of emancipation, or an adult disabled child.   A minor can become legally emancipated before age 18 by getting married, joining the military or by petitioning the court. If your child becomes emancipated, you are no longer required to pay child support...

We are often hired to assist in enforcing court orders when a parent does not pay child support for various reasons. A common question we hear is this: “My ex will not allow me to see our child. Can I withhold child support to force her to allow visitation?”   The Texas courts address child support and visitation as separate issues. Being denied visitation, or access to your child, is NOT cause to withhold child support payments. If you do, you will be in violation of a court order and subject to collection efforts by the Office of the Attorney General as...