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San Antonio, TX Family Law and Military Divorce Blog

Monday, February 6, 2017

Transfer on Death Deeds Part 2


This is part two of a three part series on Transfer on Death Deeds.  In part one, you learned about what a Transfer on Death Deed (TDD for brevity) was and how a person could validly create one.  Part two will explain what happens after a grantor signs a Transfer on Death Deed but the grantor has not passed away.

First and foremost, a Transfer on Death Deed (TDD for brevity) passes no rights to the beneficiary while the grantor is still alive.  Up until the grantor of a TDD passes away, the grantor has ultimate authority over their property.


Read more . . .


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Transfer on Death Deeds Part 1


This is part one of a three part series that will explain: (1) What  Transfer on Death Deeds are and how they are created; (2) What happens after a Transfer on Death Deed is created (when the grantor is still alive); and (3) what happens when the grantor of a Transfer on Death Deed passes away. New law was enacted in Texas in 2015 which affects all Transfer on Death Deeds created on or after September 1, 2015.  

What is a Transfer on Death Deed?

A Transfer on Death Deed ("TDD" for brevity) is a document that any person, over the age of 18 and in his right mind at the time of creation, ("grantor" for brevity) can use to transfer property after grantor's death and avoid the probate process.  Any property named in a TDD, if still in the possession of Grantor at his death, will pass to the named beneficiary in the TDD, which I will explain further in part three of this series.  The TDD must be in writing, it must contain a sufficient description of the property to be transferred and it must be signed by the grantor.


Read more . . .


Monday, January 30, 2017

Military Retiree to FERS Retiree - How Credit for Military Service Affects a Former Spouse


Military retirees are permitted by OPM regulations to waive receipt of military retired pay in order to credit their military service towards a Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) annuity.  How does this affect a former spouse receiving former spouse military retired pay?  It doesn't.

OPM regulations will not permit a retired servicemember to waive military retired pay for inclusion in calculating a FERS annuity unless the servicemember consents to OPM paying the former spouse from the FERS annuity an equal amount that he or she is entitled to received as former spouse military retired pay.  If the servicemember refuses to consent, then OPM will not allow credit for military service. 

Waiver of military retired pay commences the day prior the start the servicemember's retirement from civil service and start of the FERS annuity.


Read more . . .


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Contempt: Part 2 – Criminal Contempt


This is the second of a two-part blog series on the differences between civil and criminal contempt.  This blog will focus on criminal contempt.  If you wish to first read the first blog on civil contempt, click here.
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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Contempt: The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Contempt


This is the first in a two-part blog series that looks at the difference between civil and criminal contempt proceedings.  In civil and criminal contempt proceedings, both contain the possibility that the "contemnor" (i.e. the person found to be in contempt) might be jailed.  The story doesn't end there.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

At What Age Can A Child Be Left Home Alone in Texas?


It is not uncommon to get into legal disputes involving children's issues where one parent alleges that the other parent routinely fails to provide adequate supervision because a child is left alone at home occasionally.  For example, I've been involved in squabbles in court involving an 8 year old being alone for as little as 10 minutes on rare occasions while mom was delayed in traffic returning home from her job.  During these disputes, many people are surprised to learn that Texas has no law that specifies the minimum age at which a child can left home alone.
Read more . . .


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Military Divorce and Former Spouse Retired Pay: Situations Where DFAS Might Be Unable to Make Full Payment

When facing military divorce, there are two scenarios where the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) might be unable to make full payment to a former spouse.  The first scenario is where the Servicemember's retired pay is subject to garnishment for more than one former spouse's retired pay entitlement.  The second scenario is where the Servicemember's military retired pay is subject to garnishment for both former spouse retired pay and child support.

In the first scenario, with multiple former spouses entitled to retired pay, the most that DFAS can garnish is 50% of the Servicemember's retired pay.  Garnishment orders are processed by DFAS on a first come, first served basis until the cap is reached.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Collaborative Divorce – An Alternative to Contested Litigation


The collaborative divorce model is an alternative to traditional “contested litigation” in that it is based on resolving a divorce using open discussion and cooperation in a private environment.  The Collaborative Family Law Act is specified in Chapter 15 of the Texas Family Code.  In collaborative divorce, each party is represented by his or her own attorney, and major aspects of the process include the following:

  • Signing of a collaborative family law participation agreement and filing it with the court.
  • The agreement includes each party’s commitment not to use court hearings to resolve issues.
  • Rather, issues are resolved based on a series of informal meetings among the two parties and their respective attorneys where information is exchanged without formal discovery processes.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Military and Federal Civil Service Pay Raises for 2017


Pay raises for military and Federal civil service families will be modest in 2017. 

Active duty members will receive a 1.6% pay increase, while military retirees will only see a 0.3% increase.

Federal civil servicemember will receive a 1% across the board pay increase with an additional 0.
Read more . . .


Sunday, October 23, 2016

How is a Will Proven to be Valid During Probate?


You have a valid will, what steps must be taken to make sure that it can properly be admitted into probate?  

For a valid will to be admitted into probate, it must be proven to the court to be the last will and testament of the testator.   Before I explain that, here are the two types of valid wills in Texas. 

  1. A holographic will is a testamentary instrument written solely in the testator’s own handwriting.  It can be attached to a document with typed writing on the document, however to be valid, the will itself must only be in the testator’s handwriting.
  2. An attested will is a testamentary instrument that can be typed or hand written, but is not entirely in the testator’s handwriting.

Read more . . .


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