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Tessmer Tips / 11.05.2015

We continue with the top twenty divorce mistakes:   Divorce Mistake #4: Forcing the kids to take sides.  It is a painful time – you are angry and just want to hurt your spouse, but never, ever use your kids as pawns in the process.  The best thing you can do for them is remind them that both parents love them and will be there for them, no matter what happens. Resist the urge to badmouth your soon-to-be ex in front of your kids, no matter what he’s done.   Divorce Mistake #5: Having completely unrealistic expectations. Too many enter divorce proceedings expecting they...

Tessmer Tips / 10.05.2015

As a firm that practices Family Law, a large number of our cases involve divorce and it is no wonder - the common statistic is that 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  This week, Tessmer Law Firm brings you 20 Divorce Mistakes:   Divorce Mistake #1:  Believing your spouse will be fair and amicable.  Most people facing divorce are emotionally vulnerable and upset; some are in a state of denial.  You may think your spouse will treat you well throughout the process, but chances are things will become antagonistic.  Look out for yourself and expect him – or her – to...

Tessmer Tips / 29.04.2015

Remember, in order to have a common law marriage a couple must:   live together as man and wife in Texas; agree to be married; represent themselves as married in Texas. i.e., tell others they are married.   I’ve been living with my partner for over seven years. Are we in a common law marriage? No, not unless you and your partner have agreed to be married and refer to each other as husband and wife to others in Texas.   My partner and I had a child together. Are we automatically considered to have a common law marriage? No. You must meet the three requirements listed...

Tessmer Tips / 28.04.2015

Dissolving a Common Law Marriage – Divorce   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 marriage and file for divorce. After two years the court assumes that there was no agreement of marriage.   Examples of proof of marriage are:   joint tax statements; leases signed as husband and wife; insurance forms filed as husband and wife; a signed declaration of marriage; sworn testimony from acquaintances stating...

Tessmer Tips / 27.04.2015

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; 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...

Tessmer Tips / 26.04.2015

What is Common Law Marriage? In Texas, common law marriage, or informal marriage, is where a man and woman become husband and wife without getting a marriage license or  having a religious ceremony.  This form of marriage confers all the same rights we recognize in 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...