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A Problem with No Fault Divorce

Here is a divorce (or no divorce) story from the UK which has relevance here as there is a bill before the Texas legislature to remove “no fault” divorce in Texas, which I’ll blog about later.  But here is what could be the case if the sponsor of the bill gets his way: Woman ‘trapped in loveless marriage’ after judges refuse divorce Unusual ruling by court of appeal in case of 40-year marriage prompts call for parliament to introduce ‘no fault’ divorce- A woman says she has been left trapped in a “loveless and desperately unhappy” marriage after senior judges refused to allow her to divorce her husband of 40 years on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. The highly unusual ruling by the court of appeal triggered calls from divorce lawyers for parliament to introduce “no fault” divorce and warnings that the decision would force separating couples to make more aggressive allegations to justify marital breakdown. Tini Owens, 66, who lives in Worcestershire, had applied to overturn a ruling by the family court that her marriage to her 78-year-old husband, Hugh, who is a retired mushroom farmer, had not broken down irretrievably despite her having an affair. Her husband opposed her application, denying the allegations made against him. He told the hearing – held on Valentine’s Day – that he did not want to get divorced because they still had a “few years” left to enjoy. One of the three appeal court judges, Lady Justice Hallett, said she had reached her conclusion “with no enthusiasm whatsoever”, adding: “It is for parliament to decide whether to amend [the law] and to introduce ‘no...

Is Your Spouse Thinking About Divorce?

January is a busy month for divorce attorneys.  Some want to see if they can make it through the holidays, some are waiting for that Christmas or year-end bonus to kick in.  Some just want a change in the new year.  The following is from Bravo Blog and sums up the situation. If Your Spouse Is Considering Divorce, They Are (Secretly) Doing This First January is “considering my options” month, says one famous divorce lawyer. While they’re trying to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions, hitting the gym and eating salads, many are also (secretly) visiting a divorce lawyer’s office to see if they want to proceed with a split—and often their partner never finds out. It’s called “considering my options month.” Just because you’re not divorced, doesn’t mean they weren’t looking into it. Top New York divorce lawyer, Jacqueline Newman, managing partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, LLP, says there is a massive spike in divorce inquiries during January. That’s when one half of a couple gathers information on what a divorce would look like- without having discussed it with their partner. There are two reasons January is the time people are snooping around to find how how much a split is going to cost them and how long it will take to finalize. “The spike follows the stressful December holidays. Couples often consider divorce an off-limits holiday topic,” Jacqueline says. But New Year/ new beginnings and stress-exposed fractures in the relationship coincide in January.” Following January, actual divorce filings will spike in February when decision/plan/lawyer are in place. “In my experience I’ve seen in January people want to start...

What are Bond Conditions and Do I Have to Obey Them?

What are Bond Conditions and Do I Have to Obey Them?   Before defining what bond conditions are, let me go ahead and say “Yes, you have to obey them,” so it will begin to sink in.  Bond conditions are the tiny things you must or must not do while you are out on bond.  If you do not obey your bond conditions, you could be sent to jail until your case is resolved. What are some of these things you ask?  Let’s take a DWI case for example.  It would not be uncommon to have a bond condition to not drink alcohol or have a monitor placed on yourself or vehicle if your blood alcohol content was high or you have a prior DWI arrest or DWI conviction (I had a client with no prior convictions but 3 DWI arrests within 2 months – judge placed interlock on his car).  Also, commit no new offenses.  That means if you get arrested again, the judge will revoke your bond.  S/he will probably grant you a new bond but in Tarrant county, they will usually double the old bond.  Not following the judge’s conditions can cause problems. If you get caught drinking or violate the ignition interlock, you might go to jail for a weekend while your case is still pending.  If we need a favor from the judge in a plea deal, your actions in violating a bond condition could have an effect on the outcome of such a request.  Basically, when you get arrested, and are out on bond, lead a quiet existence until the mess is over....

Changing Social Attitudes on Divorce

Changing Social Attitudes on Divorce   Great article from the Huffington Post on the attitudes on divorce for one recently divorced author. Everyone does seem to take a position akin to a funeral at the end of a marriage.  There was a book titled “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken.”  We lament what once was, but one is in this position because it is no more.  Perhaps the author, Galina Nemirovsky, is correct in that we should take a more celebratory tone.  An old friend of mine has been doing just that on social media after her divorce and I, for one , have enjoyed reading her posts and her sheer delight at her new life and the doors that have opened.  The article is posted below or view it here.   THE BLOG I’m Part of the Divorce Welcoming Committee 09/12/2016 09:10 pm ET | Updated 13 hours ago Galina Nemirovsky Writer and Blogger; Join in my discovery of Life Clubs, my 365 Project @HeartsEverywhere.com When I was getting divorced, no one told me, “Congratulations!” or “Good job!” Instead, they frowned, rubbed my shoulders and wanted to cry. Only, I was euphoric; I was liberated from my controlling husband and it wasn’t easy taking the final steps to leave. Getting divorced takes courage and strength and whether you’re the initiator or the receiver, you’re both victims who feel like the rug has been violently pulled out from underneath you, left free falling into a black hole. Pursuing happiness isn’t always easy and often involves jumping over some messy and complicated hurdles such as hurting someone I once...

Uber Departure Does Lead to More DWI’s in Austin

Uber Departure Does Lead to More DWI’s in Austin   It had been speculated and the early returns did not show the anticipated result,  but the bigger picture is starting to indicate that the ride sharing services of Uber and Lyft did affect the number of DWI arrests in Austin.  In a previous post, I discussed the departure of the companies from Austin after the city wanted more regulation.  An argument for the programs to remain was the impact they had in DWI arrests.  Many thought this was a smoke screen and invalid, but the numbers in May don’t lie. From May 9 – May 31 2016, Austin had 359 DWI arrests, up from 334 the previous year, which is an increase of 7.5%.  That’s about 8 per week.  Over a year, that is over 400 DWI’s that may have been prevented with alternative transportation.  The number is big.  The city of Austin needs to rethink it’s stance and work with Uber and Lyft to get the services back on the road and potential DWI’s off of it. Below is the article from KEYE: DWI arrests have spiked since Uber and Lyft left Austin. The Austin Police Department released new numbers to KEYE TV that show there were 359 DWI arrests from May 9, the day Uber and Lyft shut down, to May 31st of this year. Last year during the same time period, there were 334 arrests. That’s a 7.5 percent increase in the weeks following their departure. “It’s an everyday pain that you live with,” said Deborah Tatum. Tatum wishes for one more day with her son...

What To Do If Pulled Over for DWI

WHAT TO DO IF PULLED OVER FOR DWI As we have hit the first day of summer and the 4th of July is just around the corner, I thought it was good to post some knowledge of what one should do if pulled over for DWI.  There are also great checkpoint videos on youtube.  In Texas, sobriety checkpoints are illegal, but that doesn’t stop some law enforcement from thinking that a driver’s license checkpoint in an area filled with bars at 2am is not a de facto sobriety checkpoint.  On to the tips: 1. Pull Over Immediately Of course, wait for a safe place to pull over, but don’t delay.  Some cops will think you must be intoxicated because it took you so long to pull over and question why you didn’t pull over three blocks back.  Other cops might try and slap you with an evading arrest charge, which would be a felony, in addition to a DWI. 2. Don’t Get Out of the Car Until The Officer Tells You You may think this is unjust, but don’t jump out of your car and start pleading your case.  This is not the time.  I often have clients ask if they have to get out of the car.  If you don’t, they will pull you out and that won’t look good to a jury if we have to go there on a DWI case. 3. Be Nice Nobody, not the police, not the prosecutor, and not a jury, will help someone who is a jerk.  You might need some favors in a DWI case.  Be someone that anyone would help....