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Posted on in Family Law

ChrisitneChildren are the most important people to their parents. Not only are they doted upon, but they are taken care of every moment of every day. When a single parent shares this gift with their significant other, it is a true sign of trust and a family being built together. So when one parent is not allowed to legally jointly raise the child with their significant other, it denies them that family oneness.

According to the Chicago Tribune, an Austrian lesbian couple wants to jointly raise one partner's child together. The boy was born out of wedlock in 1995 and the three have been a family for a while. However, Austria would not allow this in 2007, so the couple sought the higher courts. They won their case finally in the European Court for Human Rights. They said the only reason why the couple was not given the right non-married heterosexual couples were given was strictly based on sexual orientation. This definitely discriminated against gay people.

The ruling is final meaning Austria must comply in the decision made by the European court. The court also order financial retribution to the couple of 10,000 euros, about $13,400, in damages and over 28,000 euros in expenses. Hopefully, the couple and child can now live in peace and as a family – legally.


ChristineLove leads us to bliss: togetherness, fun and laughter. You promise to take the good and the bad. But did you take the entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is one who owns their own business through and through. Most times the business is what they eat, breath, sleep and drink. It becomes the life of the person who owns it. It is a very admirable feat, however, it needs to be clear to the incoming spouse what it all entails to be the spouse of an entrepreneur.

First, ask questions. Get to know what the business is all about, what your role will be, what the hours are, how much money goes INTO the business and the stress level it causes your future spouse. Find out how much information you can actually handle. More questions are bound to come up – ASK!


Posted on in Paternity

LucyWhy establish paternity?

  • According to Texas law, a child born to two parents who are not married has no legal father. When the parents complete an Acknowledge of Paternity (AOP) to establish legal fatherhood because there is a difference between a legal father and a biological father. An AOP helps to secure legal rights of the child.
  • Until paternity is established, child support cannot be ordered by the courts.
  • Until paternity is established, the father cannot enforce his right to visitation or possession of the child.
  • If paternity is established, the father can help to provide health insurance and other benefits for the child.
  • Some health problems such as disorders inherited from parents do not appear later in the child's life after birth, having the medical history of both the mother and the father will help doctors to know how to treat the child.

What is included in "establishing paternity"?

After both parents sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity, it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the biological father becomes the legal father as well. After the paternity is established, the father's name is added to the birth certificate. After being established, the father can be ordered to pay child support and grant him possession or visitation of his child.


LeeviAn Arizona man who gave birth to three children after having a sex-change operation may not be able to divorce his wife, according to a recent story on WFAA.com. Thomas Beatie, who was born as a woman, underwent a sex-change surgery but his reproductive organs were not removed. Thomas and Nancy Beatie decided to file for divorce after 9 years of marriage. However, a judge is questioning whether the state's same-sex marriage ban prevents Thomas Beatie from ending his marriage.

A number of courts all over the country have declared marriages involving a transgender person invalid. However, according to Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, this case is different and has different factual and legal issues than other cases involving a transgender person. "What you have is a man and woman who are married, and their relationship is ending," he said. "And it's no different, fundamentally, from other people in that circumstance."

Thomas Beatie started testosterone treatments in 1997 and underwent surgeries in 2002. He was married to Nancy in 2003 in Hawaii and became pregnant because Nancy could not have children. Beatie gave birth to three children who are now between 2 to 4 years old. The married couple later moved to Arizona. Both agree that the marriage should end.


Posted on in Family Law

StaciA recent Huffington Post article details some practical ways to soothe tensions with your ex-spouse following a divorce as you work toward a successful co-parenting relationship. Unfortunately, if you and your ex-spouse continue to pay the typical "ex games" that can stem from anger and hurt that is leftover from your divorce, you may inadvertently hurt your children in the process. No kid wants to be stuck in the middle between two parents, both of whom they love, even if they are no longer together. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps that you can take in order to work toward a more civilized, co-parenting relationship.

First, accept the fact that you and your ex-spouse are going to be forever linked by your child in common, or at least so long as your child is a minor. Therefore, you need to get accustomed to being in the same room with your ex, whether it is at baseball games, dance recitals, or at a visitation exchange location. Showing your child that you don't have to fight with your ex all the time can have a positive influence on your child and promote a health relationship between your child and your ex.

Next, do your best to keep your negative feelings to yourself. There is no need to question your child incessantly following a visit with your ex, even if you want to use that information to further criticize your ex in ongoing court proceedings. Your child still loves your ex-spouse, even if you don't. By keeping conflict between you and your ex to a minimum, and taking care not to discuss any problems or negative feelings that you have with regard to your ex, you can help foster a healthy relationship between your child and your ex, which is good for everyone involved.


For the last 20 years, Frances Keller has been behind bars. She and her husband were accused of practicing satanic rituals and sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl that came to the daycare the couple ran out of their Texas home. Christy Chaviers, the 3-year-old in question, told her mother in 1991 that Dan Keller, Frances' husband, had spanked her. Eventually, this claim morphed into an accusation of ‘ritual abuse' from Chaviers' therapist. Some of her friends also claimed that they were abused and included in satanic rituals, such as being baptized in blood, or holding a baby's heart that had been cut out of a body.

Eventually, Chaviers' recanted her testimony in court, saying that nothing bad had ever actually happened to her at the daycare. However, in the original lawsuit, prosecutors had other evidence to support the accusations: lacerations near Chaviers' hymen, a graveyard with disturbances noticed in infrared, and a ritual abuse expert's testimony.

The appeal filed in Travis County district court is questioning all of the original evidence. Aside from Chaviers' recanted statement, new medical science caused the doctor who originally claimed the lacerations on Chaviers' hymen were consistent with sexual abuse to change his opinion, stating they may have just been normal variants. The caretaker of the graveyard had told authorities that natural erosion or the addition of new dirt could cause them to look disturbed—a fact that was not passed on to the lawyers involved in the case. Finally, the testimony from the ritual abuse expert has been accused of manipulating his evidence in order to bolster his own career.


UntitledA recent report from the News Journal of Longview, Texas reports that a recent decision by Russian lawmakers to ban American adoptions has hit close to home. Russia has previously been one of the top countries for international adoptions to the United States.

Moscow lawmakers made the decision in late December and it is only a part of the sanctions that they plan to put on the U.S. One Texas family spoke out about this ban stating that they adopted a seven year old Russian child in 2011. They also said that they have heard about several families who have been waiting to take children from Russian orphanages; making a home for them only to find out that their waiting was in vain because their adoptions were cancelled. Another family states that while the orphanage where they got their child was well run, it makes no comparison to a stable home for the children.

Many families are adding adopted children to their families even when they have biological children. Many people think that only people who cannot bear their own children would consider adoption, but that could not be further from the truth. One child that was adopted said that his possibilities were limited in Russia and that he feels that he can be anything that he wants to be in the United States. He also said that what he loves the most is that he'd have parents, brothers and sisters as well as an extended family. This is something that he could not have hoped to have as a resident in a Russian orphanage.


Different U.S. states have different divorce laws, and this post will concentrate on the grounds upon which a divorce can be sought in Texas. The grounds for divorce are part of the information that needs to be provided in the Petition for Divorce. In addition to this blog post, the grounds for a Texas divorce petition can be found, for example, on divorcesource.com.

The appropriate lawful grounds, if agreed upon and substantiated by the parties, are:

  1. No Fault. If the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault.
  2. Cruelty. If one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that makes living together insupportable, the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse.
  3. Adultery. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other has committed adultery.
  4. Conviction Of Felony. If during the marriage one spouse: has been convicted of a felony; has been imprisoned for at least one year in the State Penitentiary, a Federal Penitentiary or the penitentiary of another state; and has not been pardoned. Although, the court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Note that these are not the only grounds for divorce in Texas. When you need help with your divorce filing or proceedings, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced divorce attorney in your area. Check our served areas and contact our offices for a consultation.

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