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April 2012 Archives

San Antonio adoption clinic shuts down leaving families in limbo

Adoption Associates of San Antonio, Texas, shut its doors last week leaving many families in limbo as to the status of their adoptions. Very little information has become available about the reasons for the sudden closure. Some families in the process of adopting a child through Adoption Associates have contacted Adoption Covenant, an agency out of the Lubbock area. Some of these families have said the only information they have received is an email stating the company is no longer in business.

More divorce trouble for Deion Sanders as wife arrested in Texas

In what appears to be one of the most acrimonious divorces in all of professional sports, Deion Sanders has been cited for a misdemeanor simple assault, which does not warrant an arrest, according to police. Pilar Sanders, Deion's estranged wife, on the other hand was arrested earlier this week in the same incident and was held overnight in jail on charges of misdemeanor assault. Police take allegations of domestic violence very seriously.

Novel approach to divorce stresses collaboration, not confrontation

A growing number of divorcing couples are now opting for a new approach to ending their marriage called "collaborative divorce." Instead of going to court, the couples work with teams of professionals, using communication and negotiation, instead of litigation, to navigate the divorce process. The couples start by signing a contract agreeing to use the collaborative process, meaning both sides pledge to work on resolving all of their issues outside of the courtroom. Each spouse is assigned their own attorney and mental health professional to act as their coach during the process. A neutral financial advisor is also part of the team, as is a child specialist if there are children in the family.

Lawsuit accuses ex-wife of hiding listening device on her 9-year-old

When parents are involved in a contentious divorce or bitter child custody dispute, they may say things in the heat of the moment that are motivated by anger and/or sadness. Unfortunately, they may also engage in activity that is not only motivated by similar emotions but also against the law.

Court says sperm donor does not have to pay child support

In a very interesting family law story, a California appeals court recently ruled that a Texas sperm donor does not have to pay child support for the children he helped a woman conceive via in vitro fertilization. The case raises interesting questions about whether it makes a difference, as far as the payment of child support is concerned, if the sperm donor and recipient knew each other, or the procedure was conducted anonymously. According to reports, the sperm donor, Ronnie C., is a bodybuilder and record-holding eight-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title. He had an on-and-off sexual relationship with the woman who would later sue him for child support -- identified in court documents as Jo D. -- starting in 1991. She moved from Texas to California in 2001, and the two remained friends.

Be certain to add car insurance to your post-divorce to-do list

When your divorce is finalized, you may breathe a sigh of relief and feel like you can relax for the first time in months or perhaps longer. However, before you begin settling into your new post-divorce surroundings, it's important to make sure that you address any and all outstanding issues involving your former spouse, no matter how minor you may think them to be.

Divorcing spouses hit the jackpot with smartphone data

Smartphone technology may be the best thing that ever happened to lawyers looking for evidence in a divorce case. From the call log to the address book, from archived texts to dating apps, a smartphone tells its owner's life story in data. In general, divorce lawyers are permitted access to so-called electronic evidence and can obtain it rather easily. For example, text messages and emails sent from one spouse's smartphone to the other spouse are considered fair game if they are relevant to the case. The same can be said of electronic communications to and from children and friends.

Fault-finding divorce lives on across the pond

Here in Texas, and across the United States, no-fault divorce is the norm. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a no-fault divorce is basically one in which the spouse seeking to end the marriage does not have to demonstrate specific grounds (i.e., adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc.). Furthermore, a no-fault divorce can be obtained despite the objections of a spouse. In other words, if your spouse wants out of the marriage, they are free to do so.

Study your financial health when going through a divorce

There is no doubt that the process of securing a divorce can be extremely painful. However, the process can be even more painful if it ends up compromising your long-term financial health. Fortunately, there are things that divorcing couples can do to make sure that the end of a marriage doesn't leave them in dire financial straits. A Miami Herald column recently took a look at a few steps that couples can take to protect themselves financially during a divorce. The column, written by wealth advisor Andrew Menachem, recommends that couples first take time to review their current financial situation very carefully.

Will former NBA bad boy go to jail for failing to pay child support?

Most people know former NBA great Dennis Rodman for his patented brand of hard-nosed basketball, his flamboyant personality and his legal troubles off the basketball court. In fact, it is this latter topic that often earned him the most headlines. Now, Rodman is once again making headlines both here in Texas, and across the U.S. The reason? His ex-wife is suing him for failing to pay both spousal support and child support.

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