In Texas, there is a mandatory sixty-day waiting period after filing before a divorce may be granted, absent special circumstances. That is not to say that your divorce will take only sixty days. So much of the time involved in a divorce is spent negotiating an agreement regarding property division and custody issues. The more assets you have, the longer your divorce will likely take. Many times, custody issues even further lengthen the process. The best way to have a speedy divorce is for you and your soon-to-be former spouse to work together to reach an agreement.
It is the policy in Texas law to encourage equal time with both parents. Texas courts recognize that it is in the children’s best interest to have relationships with both of their parents. This means that in most cases, both mother and father will be named joint managing conservators, with one having the right to determine the primary residence. Custody between these parents is shared in a way that the children maintain a routine during the week and then see the parent without the right to determine residency every Thursday evening and the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month. This custody can be extended so that on weekends of custody, the children stay with the parent from their visit on Thursday until the next Monday morning. While each case is different, this set-up is becoming more common.
S-corps and limited liability companies (LLCs) both provide liability protection and the opportunity for pass-through taxation. Although they are alike in these ways, there are a few key differences. An entity formed as a corporation may make an “S” election to avoid double-taxation if there are no more than one hundred shareholders, none of whom are non-resident aliens, and there is only one class of stock, among other specific requirements. An LLC is not bound by many of these requirements, allowing more flexibility in who can be a member of the company. There are other notable differences in management procedures, as well as self-employment taxes.
The most pressing reason to form a business entity is to insure asset protection. A D/B/A does not protect your assets. One of the biggest problems run into by sole proprietors is that they have not planned for the instance of legal problems arising, ending in the devastation of the business as well as personal financial health. In the unfortunate event that your business is sued, you want to be sure that your personal assets cannot be reached. By consulting with an attorney to determine the best business entity for you, you will be able to manage in the way you want, but provide the liability protection that is essential to safe-guarding personal assets.
While a certified public accountant should be consulted on the tax implications of gifting or selling property, a lawyer can tell you the legal ramifications of using a general warranty deed, special warranty deed, or a quitclaim deed. A general warranty deed is the favored deed of buyers because the seller is making a promise that he is giving good title to the property. With a general warranty deed the seller agrees to indemnify the buyer if a title issue comes up in the future. The seller who uses a special warranty deed only promises that during the time he or she owned the property, nothing was done to cloud title. A seller’s favorite deed, the quitclaim deed, makes no promises as to title and the buyer takes title to the property “as is.” The right deed will depend on the circumstances. Your attorney can tell you which one is right for you.
Most title companies will not look into what mineral interest the seller owns in a property. To be sure, contact an attorney to check the chain of title for mineral reservations within the conveying deeds. There is a distinct difference between a mineral interest and a royalty interest. It’s a matter of one word that determines what interest the seller holds and will pass with your purchase.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, that is, it’s a way of handling conflict outside of a courtroom. Mediation is held in the office of trained, unbiased professional who evaluates both sides of a conflict. The mediator assists the opposing parties by suggesting creative solutions to the problem. Mediation is often less expensive that litigation and is a non-binding process, so there is no judge or jury. Resolution at mediation is only reached by agreement of the parties. While parties can voluntarily attend mediation, it is sometimes ordered by the court as step in the litigation process.
Each of us is a consumer in one way, shape, or form. One of the most frustrating things is to have paid good money for a product or service that doesn’t stand up to par with what was promised. To make it worse, sometimes the business we are dealing with refuses to make it right. As a consumer, Texas law provides extensive protection for your dealings with other people. One of the most sweeping statutory provisions is called the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. We hope that good business practices dictate being fair, but when you’ve been wronged, there are legal remedies.
While it is a possibility for your oil and gas lease to have expired, it is likely that your mineral interests are still under a valid lease. All oil and gas leases have a primary term and a secondary term. The primary term is a span of years, in this instance it is three years. One would logically think that after three years, the lease would expire. However, most secondary terms keep the lease alive while the oil and gas company is conducting operations. If you had an attorney negotiate your lease, it’s likely that the secondary term is more strict and requires that the oil and gas company be producing in paying quantities. To know whether you should sign your division order, let an attorney review it and your lease.
While it is true that the oil and gas company can bring an action of eminent domain to condemn property for pipeline, it is also true that you have bargaining power in this situation. The oil and gas company is required to make a reasonable offer for installing a pipeline across your property before a condemnation will be granted. What’s a reasonable offer? It depends on the market. To be most informed, contact an attorney who deals in the oil and gas industry on behalf of land owners.
Lawyers use the term “probate” to describe two different processes, it is completely different from State to State, and the amount of misinformation on the internet rivals that of any other area of law. Technically speaking, “probate” is the process by which a Court oversees the distribution of a person’s property following his or her death. This process can describe the handling of one’s estate either with or without a will. In some states, the probate process is long, expensive, and difficult to complete. As a result, much of the information online suggests that everyone “avoid probate” at all costs. Under Texas law, the probate process is much less expensive and takes much less time as long the decedent, the person who passed away, had a properly-drafted will.
The laws governing the use of wills are different in every State. That means a form sold by a company in California may or may not be valid in Texas. The same applies to any form that claims to apply in all fifty states. When a form is tailored to Texas law, it may or may not use language that takes advantage of special provisions in the Texas Probate Code that allow wills to limit the involvement of the Court during the probate process. For example, a form that fails to use the phrase “independent executor” instead of “executor” may result in thousands of dollars in additional legal fees during the probate process and requirements to attend multiple Court hearings.