Family law applies to many areas of a divorce. Child custody, a division of assets and alimony are all popular topics in any divorce. There is one more area that often needs discussion.
Who gets to keep the family pet?
Dogs and cats become part of the family so letting them go is not always an easy thing to do. If a divorcing couple cannot decide on who gets to keep the family pet, there are ways for a court to arrive at that decision.
People sometimes consider pets a part of the family, but the Texas court system does not see it that way. Texas court views pets as property, which means the community property rule applies to pets. Community property is defined is property that was acquired during the marriage.
There are a few ways to gain custody of your pet, all of which require proof that the pet is separate property. If you purchased the pet prior to the marriage, a bill of sale or veterinary bills will suffice as proof. Although it is more difficult to prove, you could attempt to claim that the pet was given to you before the marriage. Another way is to prove that your pet is separate property was to show that a loved one who passed on willed it to you.
If there is no way to prove that your pet is separate property, and there can be no agreement reached between parties, a judge will rule on who gets possession of a pet.
Other pets, such as horses and show animals, are deemed valuable assets. If a couple cannot agree on ownership of these kinds of pets, then the judge is likely to order the pet to be sold and then distribute the funds accordingly.
Pets are important to people and parting with them can be a difficult part of a divorce. If you are facing or considering a divorce, make it much easier on yourself by choosing Hixson Law Firm to represent you. Our attorneys are sympathetic to every situation and will work to meet the needs of all our clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby communities.
There is a lot to do for women once a divorce is final. One of the main items on any woman’s agenda is returning her maiden name. It may seem like a bit of a daunting process, although there are some relatively easy steps to follow.
The first step is gathering the necessary documents. Those documents include a legal ID, which could be a driver’s license, passport or state identification card. You will also need your divorce decree and some kind of proof of age. A birth certificate or hospital record would suffice.
In instances where women do not have a copy of a divorce decree, they can use a Divorce Records Request Letter. This is essentially a letter sent to the court clerk requesting another copy of the divorce decree
Once all those necessary items are in hand, check to make sure that your divorce decree grants you permission to change your name. If that is the case, this is the document which will allow you to go through with a legal name change.
If it does not grant you permission, there is still more work to be done. You will need to contact the court to make an amendment. If the court does not allow amendments, then the alternative would be to file a Texas petition for a name change.
But your work does not stop there.
Even after your divorce decree grants you the right to legally change your name, you will have to start notifying some agencies on your own. That starts with government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security Office.
A trip to your local Motor Vehicles branch or local social security office should do the trick. But you must start at the social security office by filling out a Social Security form SS-5. Make sure to bring all your necessary documents again, the ones mentioned earlier in this article.
A certificate from the social security office approving your change of name will be enough to use when changing the name on your driver’s license.
There could be a few tricky parts to this process which could be simplified with the assistance of a divorce lawyer at Hixson Law Firm. Our legal team has extensive experience helping women with name changes in Arlington, Mansfield, Grand Prairie and other surrounding communities.