Snarky Lawyer

How Do Court-Ordered and Contractual Alimony Differ?

July 24th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Spousal support in Texas may be ordered by the court as part of a divorce proceeding or contractually agreed upon between the parties. The laws governing court-ordered and contractual alimony differ in several key respects. It is important to be aware of these differences before you seek or agree to either kind of alimony. Limits […]

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When Is a Prenuptial Agreement Actually a Post-Marital Agreement?

July 18th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Texas courts recognize both premarital and post-marital (or marital) property agreements. A post-marital agreement may provide for the “partition or exchange of community property,” that is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage (with some exceptions). A properly drafted premarital agreement, however, can declare that all property brought into the marriage should remain […]

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How Is Shoplifting Prosecuted in Texas?

July 13th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Theft and shoplifting are among the most common types of misdemeanor crimes prosecuted in Texas. The severity of a theft charge is tied to the value of the property stolen. For example, under Section 31.03(e) of the Texas Penal Code, theft of property is a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen […]

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Who Qualifies as a Victim Under Texas Domestic Violence Laws?

July 12th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Texas treats crimes involving domestic violence more harshly than similar acts against other types of victims. For example, under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, an assault that causes bodily injury is normally prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor. But if the victim is a member of the victim’s family or household–or the defendant […]

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Does My Immigration Status Affect My Child Custody Rights in Texas?

July 12th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

It is widely believed that more than 1 million undocumented immigrants currently live in Texas. A person’s immigration status can affect all aspects of their lives, including their rights in a divorce or family law matter. For example, an undocumented immigrant’s inability to maintain a stable job or residence may be cited as a factor […]

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Can a Breach of Contract Lead to Criminal Charges?

July 6th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

Many white collar crime prosecutions in the Houston area revolve around fraud. In some cases, a civil breach of contract may escalate into criminal theft if the state can prove a defendant acted with fraudulent intent. Under Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code, theft occurs when one person “unlawfully appropriates property” from another. An […]

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When Can Texas Courts Require Probation for My Child?

June 29th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Juvenile Crimes

In Texas, many juvenile offenses can lead a judge to place a child on probation. The actual terms of probation will vary depending on the nature of the offense, any prior delinquency record, and the suitability of the child’s home environment. Probation orders typically require the child to attend school, abide by a certain curfew, […]

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How “Serious” Injury Affects an Aggravated Assault Charge

June 27th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

One thing that elevates simple assault to aggravated assault in Texas is when the accused “commits serious bodily injury” to another person. But what exactly constitutes a “serious” injury? The Texas Penal Code considers an injury serious when it: creates a substantial risk of death; causes permanent disfigurement to the victim; or results in a […]

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Can My Relatives Sue for Custody of My Children?

June 22nd, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Most child custody disputes are between parents. But do other relatives have the right to seek custody if they feel that the parents are not capable of properly caring for their children? The answer in Texas is yes, with some important qualifications. Texas law refers to child custody as a “managing conservatorship.” If two parents […]

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Do Past Instances of Family Violence Enough to Justify a Protective Order?

June 19th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

A protective order is designed to protect Houston-area residents from the threat of family violence, which under Texas law includes any act intended to cause “physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault” against a family or household member. Family violence also applies to people who are in, or have been in, a dating relationship. […]

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