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Marshall Davis Brown Jr: January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Complexities of Divorce Law

Marriage and divorce law in the state of Texas is an ever-changing animal. Not only does it present many complexities and require an attentive, up-to-date lawyer, it's simply a sensitive subject. The ideal family lawyer is knowledgeable and persistent, but also empathetic, prepared to situate counseling, and aware of the unique needs of every family and situation. In the Texas area, for example, Pavlas & Brown LLP is knowledgeable about the following most important aspects of divorce court.
Divorce Planning
It's important for the parties involved with the divorce to truly understand what the separation will mean on a personal and legal level. Good lawyers will offer a planning session where questions, both general and specific, can be asked. Specific needs will be considered, such as those of any children involved, and it will help timeliness to be ensured.
Asset & Marital Estate Division
One of the big questions in a divorce that many people have is: Who gets what? There is much to divide – vehicles, homes, savings accounts, and the like, and it's important that the division is a fair one considering the circumstances. This is especially important in Texas, which is a community property state with unique rules. Whatever the judge thinks is fair is how the property will be broken up, so it's important to have a good lawyer to make a solid argument. As far as finances go, financial issues can get extremely deep and complex – and this is the area in which everyone wants to get what is rightfully theirs. Thus, an experienced lawyer is more important than ever.
Prenuptial Agreements
Everyone knows that prenups are a sensible idea when getting married, especially for brides and grooms with lots of assets (or lots of debt). Though no one wants to anticipate divorce, it's always better safe than sorry, and having protective agreements is simply a practical idea. A good lawyer will make signing prenups easy and fair.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Five Ways to Establish Paternity in Texas

As a mother, officially determining the paternity of a child is the first step in enforcing the father's legal obligations to a child which may include child support as well as other legal rights and restrictions. For a father, legal proof of paternity must be obtained in order to begin to pursue custody and visitation rights. There are a few ways law offices go about proving paternity.

Acknowledgement of Paternity
This is a voluntary process in which the [unwed] father is recognized as the biological father when both he and the mother acknowledge the fact and a Paternity Acknowledgement is signed at the hospital where and when the child has been delivered. 

Assumed Paternity
Each state sets specifications for assumed paternity – if they are met, a man is automatically assumed to be the father. In most cases, these include that if the child is conceived while the presumed father and mother are married and living in the same household, and the man is not infertile at this time, he is considered to be the father. Bear in mind that since there have been cases where these circumstances have not been correct, there are ways to rebut this ruling.

Default Establishment
In certain states, a man can be considered as the father by default it he fails to meet certain legal obligations. For example, if he was informed of and scheduled for a paternity test, and fails to show, he may be deemed the father by default.

Judicial Establishment
When an alleged father denies his paternity to a child, or if a mother denies a man's paternity who believes he is the father of the child, the judicial process is called into action. In this case, the court determines whether or not a man is the father, and whatever the outcome will determine whether the father gets custody, must supply monetary support, can have visitation rights, et cetera. In a case like this, it's a good idea to have an experienced lawyer, such as Marshall Davis Brown Jr, represent you in court so the true outcome and requirements are reflective of the actuality of the situation.


Friday, January 11, 2013

2012: A Big Year for Texas Divorce Law

It's been a big debate, the one about whether or not a couple should need an attorney to divorce, and it has especially been so in Texas this year. In theory, it sounds pretty good – if one could merely fill out a consensual divorce form rather than making a big to-do about it, it would save both parties a good deal of cash and probably some emotional suffering, too. That's why the majority – though it might only be a slight majority, six out of nine – of the Texas Supreme Court justices approved the motion of legalizing divorce forms.

Those who oppose the motion are mostly concerned that there will be filing mistakes which could make for some very problematic legal complications. That, and the fact that there will be that many fewer legal cases for family lawyers to take on.

However, as the executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, Trish McAllister points out, pro bono and legal aid could only fulfill about 20% of the needs for divorce case assistance over the course of last year. Other states that are ahead of the game on divorce forms have already seen the benefits, and it is anticipated that the less financially fortunate population of Texas will notice the positive difference. Being unable to get a divorce when separated – especially if other relationships, such as children, are involved – causes issues for both parties such as with credit and buying property. Hence, many believe the incorporation of divorce forms will be a positive movement in Texas.

Some family lawyers are for the idea and some are against it, but regardless, it has passed. This is just one of many family law changes that has occurred and been discussed in the state over the past two years. Let it also be a reminder that if you're looking to hire a family lawyer, like Marshall Davis Brown of TX or one of the many other reputable firms, take into consideration whether they appear to be up-to-date on the ever-changing legal climate of the state.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bush Brother Scandal

Americans know by now that scandals involving former/current presidents and their families are nothing new but always newsworthy. The same sentiment applied to the divorce lawsuit involving former president George Bush's brother, Neil, and his now ex-wife, Sharon.

The lawsuit raised a lot of questions, as exemplified by Sharon's lawyer Marshall Davis Brown. The first involved Neil's questionable work history. Documents revealed that he was being paid an extremely generous salary for doing what seems to be next-to-nothing work – work he isn't qualified for, nonetheless. "You have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors, do you?" Brown inquired about one job Bush claimed to have, which would pay him $2 million over the course of five years to work at a semiconductor manufacturing company in China.

Bush responded that he did not.

In spite of the unexplainable job offerings – of which the semiconductor industry was one of many – there are other suspicious aspects of Bush's life during his marriage with Sharon. For example, part of the basis of the divorce was his infidelity. It only raised more questions for Brown and the rest of the courtroom.
"You have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man to just go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," Brown asked, puzzled, after Bush insisted this was the case during his many stays in Asia. He maintains that they were not prostitutes – at least, not to his knowledge, as he did not ask and they did not receive any payment. His only response: "It was very unusual."

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