Michelle May O'Neil

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The Texas Legislature convenes every two years, with 2019 being one of those. Each session, proposed new laws get introduced that will affect family law in Texas. It is expected that a bill will be introduced to remove no fault divorce and require proof of fault grounds for all Texas divorce and extend the waiting period to finalize a divorce (currently 60 days). Neither of these proposals are expected to gain much traction. Reform of…
The right for same-sex couples to marry, and also divorce, has been in place in the U.S. for several years now. Same-sex relationships have normalized somewhat from being a unique anomaly to a run-of-the-mill occurrence. Even in some of the more conservative counties and courts that we practice in at our firm, gay marriage is now just  marriage and gay divorce is now just divorce. Adoptions by same-sex parents are even a normal happening and…
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed Congress last December and there is a lot of talk about how it will impact the tax situation for individuals. Few have considered the impact that the new law will have on divorce and child custody. (See  How Will the New Tax Law Affect Your Divorce? ) Much of the commentary centers around the elimination of the tax deduction for alimony payments. The new law eliminated the deduction…
Can a gay man get custody when exiting a heterosexual relationship? I read with interest this article Gay Parent’s Claim for Custody. The article poses the challenges facing a gay man in getting custody of a child when exiting a heterosexual relationship. Some courts do not view gay men as equal to mothers and even hetero-fathers in custody cases. Prevailing prejudices and discrimination remains with some judges. The best interest of the child remains…
A client recently asked about divorcing her husband who was pending felony criminal charges. Texas is generally a no-fault divorce state. This means that one spouse may seek and be granted a divorce based solely on the irreparable breakdown in the marriage relationship without showing anything else. However, Texas allows for a fault-based divorce decreed in favor of one spouse, which generally only matters when immigration is an issue or when the property available to…
Interesting article in the Dallas Morning News today about efforts to prevent folks convicted of domestic violence or abuse from gun ownership. Under federal law, anyone found to have committed family violence (aka domestic abuse), whether in a criminal proceeding or by way of a civil protective order, is prohibited from purchasing a gun. The identity of the person should be reported to the National Crime Information Center, which is the registry used for gun…
I read an interesting study performed by Custody Xchange about parenting time state-by-state. (See How much custody time does dad get in your state?) Bottom line, their study showed that nationally a father is likely to receive on average 35% of time with a child by court order. Interestingly, 40% of states – 20 out of 50 – start with a 50/50 model for parenting time. For example, Florida has a 48 hours…
This article is limited to transactions on exchanges only.  The next entry will address remainder addresses in non-exchange scenarios. For a better understanding what cryptocurrencies are, please read the first article in this series, available here: https://www.dallastxdivorce.com/2018/08/articles/articles/cryptocurrency-and-family-law-the-basics-part-1/ Everyone in the world can see when cryptocurrencies are transferred.  Public addresses are wallets, and generally remain the same, and private addresses are similar to coins, and change upon transfer. When a private address (coin) moves from one public…
Cryptocurrency and Family Law: The Basics (Part 1) Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not going away any time soon.  Both have been sanctioned by the United States government, and millions of people within our country utilize these electronic currencies every day in a variety of ways.  Some use them as vehicles for investment, some use them to trade goods and services, and others use them as sources of income. This article is the first…
Reports surfaced today that pro-NBA player Blake Griffin has reached a settlement deal with his ex-girlfriend Brynn Cameron to pay child support of $258,000 PER MONTH for their two children. (See reports here from TotalProSports and here from TMZ.) The lawsuit, pending in California, alleges that Griffin ousted Cameron and the kids from his mansion in the California hills and made them homeless and penniless so he could carry on with reality star Kendall…