Michelle May O'Neil

I enjoyed this article in the Washington Post by Lisa Bonos. Is it possible to get divorced and not hate your ex? A divorce necessarily comes after a lot of emotion and turmoil in the relationship. Sorting through that emotion and processing to the other side of the hatred river takes emotional maturity and “adulting” (as the new millennial lingo goes).  The bottom line is that you have to love your kids more than…
Newly-elected Judge Sonya L. Heath of the 310th District Court of Harris County dismissed the Pidgeon case last week after ruling on competing final motions for summary judgment by either party. In 2013, the Houston Mayor directed that the City provide employee benefits to spouses in same-sex marriages, the same as spouses in heterosexual marriages. Two conservative activists in Houston filed suit against the Mayor and City, arguing that the expenditures violated the state and…
What remedies are available to left-behind parents when a child is removed from the child’s primary country to another country? There has been a recent uptick in the number of cases where a parent unilaterally removes a child from the child’s place of residence to another country in an attempt to be the child’s sole parent. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction (read the text of the treaty here)…
Highly compensated individuals may have a laundry-list of deferred compensation awards going out over many years. Sometimes these compensation methods require negotiation transactions during a divorce that may or may not be legally permitted without full transparency. In most Texas courts, there are “standing orders” that automatically apply to every divorce that prohibit certain types of transactions. It is important to understand the marital assets in order to prevent the client from inadvertently violating one…
The American Bar Association’s Standing committee on Ethics released a formal opinion last week on guidance for judges performing same-sex marriage: In wake of landmark decision, ABA issues guidance for judges performing same-sex marriages. Their guidance interprets the Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The Formal Opinion 485 incorporates procedures and policies developed for judges in Ohio, Arizona, and Nebraska. The 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision found the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits…
Love is for everybody. It’s a nice thought. But sort through the greeting cards at literally any store and the chances of finding something queer-themed, or even remotely non-heterosexual, is going to be low, low, low. It doesn’t feel nice to be left out. So, here’s a website with download-and-print Valentine’s Day cards, classic e-Card style. And you can them give out to your loved ones! Check them out: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.youthkiawaaz.com/2019/02/lgbt-valentines-day-cards/amp/  …
Most business valuations in the divorce context are performed upon long-standing businesses. Valuing an early-stage start-up company poses some challenges. In 2013 the AICPA released a guide detailing a framework for assessing the six typical stages of a business’ lifecycle. Stage 1: The enterprise has no product revenue, limited expense history, incomplete management team, and initial product development. Stage 2: The enterprise has no product revenue, substantial expense history related to product development, and an…
The topic of Sperm Donor Agreements has recently risen in discussion between same-sex couples wanting start their families using alternative reproductive methods and how the law can impact their ability to parent. Some questions have been: When is a sperm donor legal? Is a sperm donor a parent? Can a sperm donor get rights to my child? Should I memorialize in writing an agreement between my sperm donor and I? What does the law say…
Because business entities are often a large part of a marital estate for divorce, family lawyers and clients should understand how to review the report and spot issues even before hiring or relying upon the party’s own expert for review. 1.Professional standards and credentials – Along the lines of starting at the very beginning (channeling my best Julie Andrews), begin with an analysis of the qualifications and credentials of the person performing the analysis. There…
LGBT relationships are still a relatively new construct in a legal system that has traditionally been focused almost exclusively on two-parent, opposite gendered relationships. Some courts lag behind in addressing custody issues with same-sex partners, mostly due to inexperience and inconsistency in the laws. Because same-sex parents cannot biologically birth children together, the legal definition of who qualifies as a parent is more complex in LGBT custody cases. One partner may be the legal parent,…