A handshake is great, but all agreements should be in writing.

A business owner should put all agreements in writing.  Even if not legally required, it’s wise to put almost everything in writing, because oral agreements can be difficult or impossible to prove. This includes leases or rental agreements, storage agreements, contracts for services (such as consulting or electrical work), purchase orders or contracts for goods […]

Don’t forget to check any trademarks.

When you open your business, research any trademarks.  Don’t get two years into your business and then find that you have to change the name of a popular product or even your entire company because someone has realized you are using a variant of their name and wants to sue you.  Do a federal or […]

Keep your personal and business funds separate, and be sure to insure yourself.

When running your own business, keep your personal funds separate from your business funds.  Open a separate bank account for your business.  Any payments made to you by the business should be made as a check written on the business account and deposited to your personal account, just like an employer was paying you.  Never […]

Tessmer Tips for New Business Startups

Are you an entrepreneur with a dream?  If you are considering starting your own business, there are legalities to consider.  For the next two weeks, we will discuss some of the points you may want to think about before you hang that “OPEN” sign.   Before you start your business, decide on an ownership structure.  […]

Call us if you have questions about the adoption process.

Who may legally adopt in Texas?  You must be an adult, and if married, both parties must petition for adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents must agree to a home study which includes all household family members.  A criminal background check must be performed on all adult household members.   Adoption can be an extremely rewarding experience […]

The termination of parental rights is a serious matter.

What if the biological father is unknown to the mother? Because adoption involves termination the parental rights of the birth parents, efforts must be made to determine the name and whereabouts of the biological father.  The Department of Family & Protective Services must provide evidence to the court to show what actions were taken in […]

Birth fathers must be notified.

Does the birth father of the baby have to be notified of the birth and the mother’s adoption plan?  Yes, the birth father must be notified either personally by service or by publication.  Reasonable efforts MUST be made to locate the father.  In Texas, a father may add his name to the state paternity registry, […]

Only certain expenses can be legally paid by adoptive parents.

Texas law restricts the expenses adoptive parents can pay on behalf of biological parents. These restrictions apply even if the birth mother lives in a state that is more permissive in terms of payments of expenses. Adoptive parents can legally pay for medical and legal expenses relating to the adoption. You can pay a social […]

Half of adoptions in the U.S. are between related parties.

People adopt for a wide variety of reasons, infertility being among the most common. About half of adoptions in the United States are between related individuals, such as in a “step-parent adoption” where the new spouse of a parent adopts a child from their husband or wife’s previous relationship.   When can the adoption process […]

Adoption: What you need to know.

Adoption is defined as “a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and in so doing permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the biological parent or parents.” In the State of Texas, adoption is regulated under Family Code Section 162. This week, Tessmer Law Firm will offer tips and advice regarding the […]