Friday, February 5, 2010

How do I get my spouse out of the house?

In Texas, you must go to court and have a judge order that person to move.  Texas does not recognize legal separation like many other states.  Therefore, you must file for divorce and file a document asking for a temporary order hearing.  At the hearing, the person filing (hopefully the Petitioner's attorney) will ask the Judge to order the person to move.  The judge will probably give the person a date to be out.  Then the Judge normally also gives a date and time that the spouse is allowed to remove their belongings from the residence.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can child's mother make her live with dad?

This is a great question!

Pre-teen daughter is making mom and step-dad's lives a living hell.
Mom decides to make father take her.
Father and step-mom don't want her because of the problems she causes.
Step-mom emails me -- can we be forced to take her?

Answer: No

But, thinking outside the box, I had some other thoughts.  This child is in crisis.  Something needs to be done.  How horrible that either biological parent wants this child in their home!
That is a red flag that something is seriously wrong. 

I suggested (1) family counseling for parents and steps (2) sending kid to boarding school (3) sending her to live with another relative that wants her or (4) as a last resort, giving custody of the kid to CPS. 

I don't like bringing CPS into the case but I've seen parents voluntarily turn their kids over when they are totally out of control.  I suspect that no one wanting you must horrible.  However, if the kid is out of control, on drugs or alcohol, running away from home, physically hurting themselves or others, there might not be any other choice.

My ex wants me to legally change my name

Boy, I love this question.  I get it 2 or 3 times a year. 

In a divorce, a husband cannot force his wife to change her name!  Her married name is her legal name and it is her decision if she wants to keep it or go back to any other name she has ever used.

I had one lady that liked her first husband's last name so when she divorced husband #2 she went back to husband #1's last name! 

She was not doing it to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution so it was ok.

You cannot make everyone happy!

It's been a very "interesting" day. 

Got several nasty emails from a client's wife.  She's been very busy for the past 2 days trying to "ruin me". She's been calling and emailing numerous people.  I tried to call and talk to her today, but I went directly to voice mail and she never called me back.  (She is very bold in emails but I'm sure she does not walk to actually talk to me!) 

Someone called me because they were concerned about me.   As soon as the person's name was mentioned I just said...I represent her husband in their divorce...then...all I heard was laughter. Seasoned attorneys always want to know - the rest of the story!

It's hard to defend yourself against this sort of "attack".  I have determined that it is easier to just let the person vent.   As a family law attorney, I have tried to develop a tough skin when this sort of thing happens.  It does not happen often, but it does happen.   I figure it's just part of the job.  Making a big production only "fuels the flame".  Taking the high road and behaving in a calm reasonable mode seems to be the best solution for everyone involved.   

I find that people that are "on a mission" eventually find a new mission or lose momentum when they can't get a "fight" going.  Most just need a good night's sleep and time to "re-set" themselves.

Why are her complaints not bothering me?
Because she admitted in an email to me that...
I am not her attorney
She admits that I told her that I could not ethcially represent both the husband and wife in a Texas divorce
She admits that I represent the husband in the divorce
She agrees that we have no "contract" or "legal services contract"
I have never received any money from her - She admits that her husband gave me the money
I was allowed to communicate with her since he was pro se (no attorney representing her)

I wish I could say more but I won't,,,


Quick Update:  The attorney mentioned above was so upset by the emails and phone calls received that this person strongly advised me to file for a restraining order immediately for my safety and to retain legal counsel to sue for defamation and slander.  I certainly hope this won't be necessary!  What this woman does not understand is how her untrue and exaggerated statements (now in oral and written form) plus witnesses that are willing to testify against her -- could really hurt HER.  If I won a defamation or slander lawsuit, I could be awarded $$$.  Even if she does not have any money, I could then get a financial judgment that would prevent her from ever buying anything on credit in the future -- even a used car!  A judgment can also hurt her future employment.  Plus, many employers won't hire people that have restraining orders against them! 

I hope she gets some sleep and calms down.

In a sad way, it is amusing... she thinks I'm running scared.  Instead, I'm backing up and printing all communications from her and the people she has been contacting.  To be safe, I am storing them away from my home and office for safe keeping.