Articles Tagged with parentage

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Can a married couple get divorced in Texas while the wife is pregnant?

It is highly unlikely.

Most Texas courts will not grant a divorce to a married couple if the wife is pregnant. Instead, the couple will have to wait until after the baby is born to finalize their divorce, oftentimes causing significant delays to the already lengthy divorce process. This is the case even if the husband and wife both want the divorce and are in agreement on all issues.

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A Court in Houston recently reinforced the importance of honesty and full disclosure during the Collaborative Law process when it found that a husband potentially committed fraud by failing to disclose changing job circumstances. See Rawls v. Rawls, 2015 WL 5076283 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.).

A husband and wife in Houston chose to use Collaborative Law to complete their divorce proceedings in 2014. They successfully reached a settlement that included provisions for the wife to receive portions of her husband’s bonus over the next few years. Unfortunately, before the settlement agreement was signed, the husband received a job offer, which he failed to disclose to his wife, and he resigned from his job. Full and complete disclosures of such information is a critical part of the Collaborative Law process, because the goal is to make both parties feel safe to make informed decisions.  The Houston Court is currently examining whether the husband committed fraud and breached a fiduciary duty under the Collaborative Law agreement he signed by concealing his job change from his former spouse during the collaborative law process.  Continue reading →

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This past summer, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that under the U.S. Constitution, no state may forbid same-sex couples from marrying and that no state may refuse to accept the legality of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.  This Supreme Court opinion, however, did not address issues regarding children of same-sex marriages/partnerships.  As evidenced below, much work still remains to be done in this regard. Continue reading →

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If you have ever wondered how paternity is established under Texas law, here are a few key points to remember.  First, there are five ways in which a father-child relationship can be established:

  • (1) an unrebutted presumption of the man’s paternity;
  • (2) an acknowledgment of paternity;
  • (3) an adjudication of paternity;
  • (4) adoption; and
  • (5) the man consents to assisted reproduction by his wife resulting in the birth of the child.

Now, what does it take to be considered a “presumed father” under Texas law, and how can that presumption be rebutted?  Well, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if: Continue reading →