Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Basic Information About Divorce in Texas

December 27th, 2017

If you are considering a divorce in Texas and you are beginning to learn more about how the divorce process in Texas works, you are not alone. Each year, approximately seventy-five thousand Texans end their marriages. Unfortunately, the number of divorces that happen in Texas does not make it any easier for each person to navigate their divorce. Just as each marriage is unique, each divorce is slightly different than the others. Fortunately, there are quite a few common elements that are present in all or almost all Texas divorces. Learning about the essential elements of a Texas divorce is excellent preparation for working through the more specific details of your Texas divorce.

The key thing to know about divorce in Texas, or anywhere, really, is that working with a divorce attorney is time and money well spent because attorneys not only help their clients understand the divorce process, they help them work through it every step of the way. Divorce attorneys help their clients make decisions that will serve their best interest and choices that will keep the divorce moving along, possibly even with less conflict than they might have expected. Research indicates that divorced individuals who worked with attorneys to settle their divorce cases report higher degrees of satisfaction with outcomes of their divorce cases than those who either did not work with attorneys or who pursued resolution of their divorce cases through litigation instead of a settlement.

Divorce cases don’t get resolved overnight in Texas, or anywhere else. The typical Texas divorce takes between six months and one year from the date that one of the parties files for divorce until the date that the divorce becomes final. Another critical thing to know about divorce in Texas is that either you’re married or you’re not; there is no in between, no period of legal separation. You are married until your divorce is final. This is an important thing to be aware of because Texas is a community property state. In community property states, all property and all debt acquired during the marriage belongs equally to both spouses. During your divorce, it is crucial that you make financial and other decisions with that in mind, and with the aid of your attorney. Also, while Texas does recognize “no-fault” divorce, the issue of fault may still come up during your divorce case when it comes to deciding what a fair division of your debts and assets is. It is vital that divorcing Texans understand this so that they are not surprised when the issue gets discussed.

Divorce in Texas is much easier with a knowledgeable ally by your side. Your Texas Family Law Attorney can help you understand your options and pursue the best possible result in your Texas divorce case. If you have questions about your Texas divorce, call (903) 753-7499 today to schedule a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You can also visit our web page anytime to submit an online contact form.


Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Describes the Crime of “Jugging”

December 17th, 2017

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and, unfortunately for shoppers, the stores are not the only ones who are interested in getting a hold of your cash. Thieves are continually coming up with new strategies and tactics for obtaining money from unsuspecting victims. Jugging, the latest trend in theft, has infiltrated major cities in Texas and is likely to make its way into smaller communities soon. Jugging is a crime, so Texans are wise to understand what activities are part of the offense of jugging so that they do not become victims and so that they do not unwittingly participate in a jugging operation.

Jugging begins when someone stations themselves in a car or some other location where they can see people doing transactions at the drive up ATM. They watch the person withdraw cash and then they follow the person to their next stop. After the person exits their car, the person who is jugging usually tries to break into their vehicle. Less frequently, the person who is jugging will confront the person and demand the cash. People who carry bank bags or envelopes are the most obvious targets, but anyone using a drive up ATM or teller or coming out of a bank could be at risk. Concealing your cash both as you go into the bank and before you leave the bank is an excellent way to deter juggers because they cannot see whether you have money with you. You can also protect yourself by not leaving money in your car and by making your stop at the bank your final destination before you go home.

When you are out and about, and you’re doing banking and other errands, your best defense against jugging is awareness of your surroundings. People who take the time to focus on what is going on around them are likely to notice that something does not seem right, or that they feel strange. Some people may even feel as though someone is watching them. Sometimes, juggers will sit in a car, parked with a clear view of the bank door or drive-up. Look for vehicles that are parked and occupied, with no one getting in or out. If you sense that something isn’t right, drive away from that area and take note of whether anyone follows you. If someone appears to be following you, call the police to report the suspicious situation.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texans Accused of Crimes

If you get charged with jugging or any other crime in Texas, it is essential that you consult a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. A seasoned Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can build a solid case on your behalf, and they can pursue the best possible outcome for you under the circumstances. The consequences of being charged with or convicted of a crime can touch many areas of your life, so it is critical to protect your rights during this difficult time. If you’ve been charged with any criminal offense in Texas, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us through our website by using our online contact form.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Crime of “Revenge Porn”

November 13th, 2017

The widespread use of technology and social media have created many ways for people to interact with each other. Unfortunately, the nature of online interactions isn’t always positive. From people trolling each other on social media and leaving nasty comments on the details of other people’s lives to creating and posting online content with the intent of embarrassing or harming others, technology has created plenty of ways for people to be unkind towards each other.

For example, Joe Barton recently apologized for a sexually explicit photo of him that has been circulating on social media. Barton did not post the picture, nor did he give permission for it to get posted, but there it was on the internet, leaving him in the unenviable position of having to decide what to do about it. That would be a difficult thing for anyone to do, but even more unfortunately for Barton, he is a politician, and his career depends in large part upon the public’s opinion of him. Barton chose to acknowledge the image and the relationship portrayed therein, and he apologized to his constituents for letting them down, because he knew that at least some people would not have approved of that relationship. As of yet, no one has released information about the source of the image and any potential motivation for posting it – it could be a political opponent, an angry former lover, or any other person who wanted to embarrass Barton and harm his reputation.

It is even possible that Joe Barton is the victim of a crime. Some Texans may not know that there is a state law that makes it a crime to intentionally disclose pictures or videos that “depict another person with the person’s intimate parts exposed or engaging in sexual conduct” without their consent. This type of disclosure is often referred to as “revenge porn” because that’s one possible motivation for many posts of this nature. Posting this type of content could get you charged with a Class A misdemeanor with a sentence of up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to four thousand dollars. The law was passed to protect people who were in consensual relationships at the time that the images got created, but who do not consent to the posting of the images online.

If you have been accused of posting revenge porn in violation of the new statute, it is imperative that you get help from an experienced Texas Criminal Defense Attorney. Just as is the case with any crime, it is possible that you could present a defense to the court that could result in the charges getting dropped or the penalty getting reduced.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – An Ally for the Accused

If you get charged with a crime in Texas, consult an attorney right away. An experienced Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can build a strong case on your behalf, especially if you retain them immediately. The consequences of being charged with or convicted of a crime can extend far beyond fines and imprisonment, so it is essential that you do whatever you can to protect your rights at this critical time. If you got charged with a crime in Texas, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or connect with us on our website through our online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Reminds Divorced and Divorcing Texans to use Caution at Tax Time

November 3rd, 2017

One thing that it can be easy to overlook when you are divorcing or newly divorced is the tax consequences of your divorce. Whether your divorce affects your taxes for better or for worse, there is one thing that is certain – you will need to do your taxes at least somewhat differently than you did when you and your spouse were married. Some of the tax changes that relate to divorce take place before your divorce is even final, so it is essential that all divorced or divorcing Texans know what to do for their particular situation when tax time comes around.

Since every divorce is unique, it only makes sense that your taxes could be affected differently by your divorce than your friend’s or your co-worker’s. The only way to know for sure what to do at tax time is to ask both your divorce attorney and your tax preparer. If you usually do your taxes, it is well worth consulting with a tax professional for a few years, both during and after your divorce, just to make sure that everything gets filed as it should. You might eventually resume doing your taxes on your own, but for now, getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Three things that you may want to pay particular attention to regarding your taxes are your filing status, exemptions, and alimony. Depending upon whether your divorce is final or even how long it has been since you filed for divorce if it’s not yet final, your filing status may be different this tax year than it was last tax year. You may also have multiple options available to you for filing status, and your attorney and or your tax professional can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can select the filing status that will work best for you.

In divorces where there are children or other relatives in the home who get claimed as dependents by one or both spouses, divorce can bring about changes to the number of exemptions that each spouse can claim in any given tax year. Sometimes, exemptions even get used as a bargaining tool in divorce negotiations, as something that divorcing spouses can divvy up as part of their divorce settlement. As with all of the other tax issues related to divorce, it’s a good idea to consult with your attorney and tax preparer about your exemptions before you file so that you can be sure to do them correctly.

A third common tax issue in divorce cases is alimony. Your divorce may not involve alimony, but if it does, definitely check in with your attorney and your tax preparer about how you are to deduct it if you are the paying spouse or how to report it as income if you are the receiving spouse. There are particular rules for including alimony on your tax return, and it is essential that you follow them as they apply to your specific situation.

If you have questions about your Texas divorce, call (903) 753-7499 today to schedule a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You can also visit our web page anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Counseling

October 22nd, 2017

Divorce clients often wonder whether they need counseling. If they have kids, they are also likely to wonder whether their children need therapy. If you’re asking one or both of these questions, that’s good because looking after your mental health and the mental health of your children is essential to your overall well-being.

In this article, we’re not talking about marriage counseling. If you’re thinking about divorce and you’re curious about marriage counseling, visit our page next month for an article about “discernment counseling”, a process that can help couples decide whether to pursue marriage counseling. This article is about determining whether to seek individual therapy for yourself and your children.

Adults who are going through divorce need emotional support. Counseling is one available form of emotional support. Only you can decide whether it is right for you. The intense emotions that divorce brings about can take you by surprise, even if you expected to face emotional challenges. Think about what works for you when you need to make big decisions or find solutions to problems in your daily life. Do you have a friend or family member who listens well and talks with you in a way that is helpful and uplifting? Conversations with people like that can be helpful and healing. Some people that you talk to may have even been through a divorce themselves, which can help you feel heard, understood, supported and accepted. If you are a person of faith, your congregational leader may be a trustworthy source of support. Sometimes, a professional counselor is the best emotional support, especially if you are wrestling with depression, anxiety, or substance use. Ask people for references or call around to see who might be a good fit for you. Finding the right emotional support makes a huge difference in your ability to recover from your divorce and move forward with your life.

Sometimes, kids whose parents are divorcing benefit from therapy. Every child’s needs are unique, so it is good to evaluate whether counseling could benefit your child. That said, it is imperative that you understand how important of a role you, the parent, play in meeting your child’s mental health needs. Children who receive consistent emotional support from parents during and after divorce often come through the experience having acquired good coping and problem-solving skills and increased resiliency. Support your kids by keeping discussions about your divorce away from their eyes and ears, maintaining consistency in their daily routines as much as possible, and not only refraining from negative talk about their other parent but also encouraging a healthy and positive relationship with them. Even children of the most supportive and encouraging parents might need help processing the emotions that go along with divorce. Kids do not often recognize on their own that they need emotional support, but parents can look for signs that their kids need help. If you see changes in your child’s behavior or personality such as increased anger, aggression, acting out more or differently than usual, or appearing depressed and isolating themselves from things they usually enjoy, then counseling might benefit your child. Talk with other parents or your child’s health care providers to get some ideas about who you might approach about counseling for your child.

If you have questions about your Texas divorce, call (903) 753-7499 today to schedule a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You can also visit our web page anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Reminds Drivers to Watch Out for No Refusal Periods

October 2nd, 2017

Austin police report that their ‘No Refusal’ DWI enforcement program is helping them obtain better evidence and make stronger cases against drunk and drugged drivers. Despite that apparent success, there are no numerical data available to tell us whether fewer people are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and whether there has been a decrease in the amount of fatal drug or alcohol-related crashes as the result of the no-refusal program.

You might not be aware that the overall number of DWI arrests in Austin has not increased since the no-refusal program got implemented. The Austin Police Department arrest between five and a half thousand and six thousand drivers each year on suspicion of DWI and the number remains consistent even as the no-refusal program continues to expand into time periods that do not happen near holidays.

Whether the no-refusal program is effective in preventing impaired driving or not, it is still something that drivers should be aware of.  In previous years, Halloween has been a time when police in Austin and elsewhere in the state have conducted no-refusal periods. Although Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, there are always plenty of parties during the weekend before the holiday. Law enforcement officials know that this is sure to be a fun-filled weekend for both children and adults, and in selected areas, they may even be conducting a no-refusal period during that time.

Whether or not your plans for Halloween take you to an area where no-refusal will be in effect, be aware that law enforcement officers will be working to keep drunk and drugged drivers off the streets by increasing their patrols. A bigger law enforcement presence on the streets means that you are at a higher risk of being pulled over than you usually are.

If your plans this weekend take you to an area where no-refusal is in effect, know that law enforcement officers will arrest any driver who refuses to submit to roadside blood or breath testing. After the arrest, a blood sample will be taken from them while they are in police custody.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – A Powerful Ally Against Texas DWI Charges

If you get stopped by the police, you might be able to prevent your traffic stop from turning into a DWI investigation. Remain calm, speak respectfully, and give the police officer only as much information as the law requires. If you do get arrested, protect yourself by using your right to remain silent. Ask to speak with an attorney right away. An experienced Texas DWI defense attorney can build a strong case on your behalf, especially if you retain them immediately. If you get charged with DWI because you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney today. If you have any questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us on our website through our online contact form.


Texas Family Law Attorney Talks About Premarital Agreements

September 22nd, 2017

Did you know that years ago, couples who planned to marry in Texas could not make premarital agreements? Premarital agreements are becoming more and more commonplace among modern couples, so it can be hard to believe that there was ever a time where couples could not enter into them. The Texas Constitution prohibited all couples, both those who were married and those who were anticipating marriage, from making any agreement that would change the character of their marital property.

Married couples were the first to be permitted to make agreements regarding their marital (community) property. In 1948, the Texas Constitution got amended to permit spouses to contract with each other to designate some or all of their community property as separate property via a document called a marital agreement. Couples who were not yet married could not contract with each other regarding marital property until 1980. Since 1980, the process for contracting with a future spouse regarding ownership of property has evolved into a strict set of requirements that are set out in the Texas Family Code and the Texas Constitution.

If you plan to marry in Texas, you may create a premarital agreement. As with anything else, the key to knowing whether something will benefit you is understanding more about it. For example, a couple who is anticipating marriage would want to know why some couples choose to have them to determine for themselves whether they need one.

Premarital agreements can serve a few different purposes, including limiting future alimony, preserving family assets, ensuring specific parenting practices, clarifying tax obligations, and setting forth the parties’ rights and duties during the marriage, among other things. While there seem to be few boundaries on what you can put in a premarital agreement, please know that there are some limitations. You and your future spouse may not contract to do things that violate any criminal laws or that go against established public policy.

It might also be useful for you and your future spouse to understand who typically enters into premarital agreements. There is no one specific class or category of people who enter into premarital agreements more often than others. With this in mind, couples who are considering marriage must understand that premarital agreements are only a good idea if both parties want one. A premarital agreement is a legally binding document, so no one should ever enter into one under any circumstance besides wanting to have one because they believe that it will benefit them and their future spouse. For example, if you’re considering it just because your future spouse wants it, because your parents want the two of you to have one, or because their parents want you to get one and you either don’t want one or do not see that it will benefit you, do not enter into the agreement. If you and your future spouse agree that you want to enter into a premarital agreement because it will be good for each of you, then it’s time to work with a Texas Family Law Attorney to explore what you plan to include in your premarital agreement.

If you have questions about your Texas divorce, call (903) 753-7499 today to schedule an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. Alternatively, you can visit our web page anytime to submit an online contact form.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About What Defense Attorneys Do

September 2nd, 2017

Did you get caught up in a DWI arrest this past weekend in Austin? If so, it’s time for you to learn more about what a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can do for you. The police in the Austin area have expanded their No Refusal DWI initiative, which means that more and more drivers are being stopped, investigated, and sometimes even arrested for DWI. If you are one of those drivers, there is a lot at stake, but there is also something that you can do to give yourself a chance at the best possible outcome in your Texas DWI case.

The “no refusal” initiative allows police to forcefully draw blood from drivers who refuse to voluntarily participate in blood or breath testing by obtaining bench warrants from on-duty magistrate judges. In many areas in Texas, “no refusal” periods take place on a few selected holiday weekends each year. The Austin Police Department declared an every weekend No Refusal DWI initiative starting January 6, 2017, through September 2017, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night through Sunday morning.

Any driver who gets arrested for DWI can benefit from the services of a Texas DWI defense attorney. Your DWI defense attorney can help you understand the charges that you are facing. They can also tell you how a conviction could affect various areas of your life. When you make an appointment to talk with a DWI defense attorney, they will want you to tell them about your DWI arrest.  When an attorney asks you to tell them about your arrest, they are listening for specific details about your arrest that can help them formulate a plan for your defense, should you decide to have them represent you.

It’s possible that your income will qualify you for the services of a public defender. However, it is important that you understand the difference between retaining private counsel for your DWI case and working with one of the state’s public defenders. A public defender is an attorney who is employed by the state.  In contrast, private counsel is an attorney that you select and pay for on your own. All attorneys are licensed professionals and each attorney advocates on behalf of their clients. The main distinction between a public defender and a private attorney is that in Texas, public defenders don’t take part in the administrative license suspension (ALR) process. Any driver who gets charged with DWI must request an ALR hearing to avoid license suspension. Only private counsel may handle those requests and the ALR hearings.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Standing Up for Texas Defendants

The penalties for DWI can have far-reaching effects on many areas of your life. From transportation to your job to being able to provide transportation to others in your family, qualifying for public benefits, applying for jobs, and finding a place to live, a DWI can require a lot of adjustments to your daily life. Fortunately, a Texas DWI defense attorney can give you the best chance of obtaining a result in your DWI case that will intrude upon your life as little as is possible under your unique circumstances. To learn more about Texas DWI defense, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Talks About Human Trafficking

August 31st, 2017

The idea that people are being transported illegally into the United States for financial gain is something that stirs compassion in many people’s hearts. People want to come to America so badly that they endure dangerous traveling arrangements and risk falling prey to false promises of what they will have when they get here. Human trafficking also stirs up strong feelings against the people who exploit people that want to come to America, individuals who treat immigrants like things instead of people, and who subject them to danger and abuse. As if human trafficking isn’t bad enough on its own, sometimes immigrants die while they are being transported into the United States.

Recently, ten people died in a tractor trailer that was transporting people into the United States from Mexico illegally. The driver of the truck is charged with illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain resulting in death,  the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegally transporting immigrants resulting in serious bodily injury, and conspiracy to transport immigrants illegally, resulting in death. These charges can carry grave consequences for the driver if he is convicted. It is possible that he could even get sentenced to death.

The conditions that the people inside the trailer of that driver’s truck got subjected to were horrific. At least thirty-nine people got packed inside the trailer for the one hundred and fifty-mile journey from Laredo to San Antonio. The refrigeration system on the trailer was broken, so the temperature inside the trailer was dangerously high. Some of the people who were in the trailer who did not die had to be hospitalized for a while before they could be released

There are various reasons why human trafficking is such a big problem in Texas. Agricultural operations looking for low-cost labor sometimes get their workers through illegal smuggling operations. Illegal immigrants are also often employed as domestic servants, and some immigrants find their way into the United States through illegal smuggling operations. Also, Mexican drug cartels often engage in trafficking illegal immigrants, in addition to illegal drugs.

In addition to the dangers of being transported like cargo in tractor trailers, the victims of human trafficking often endure forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in various forms.  Statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimate that over twelve thousand illegal immigrants get trafficked into the country through Texas. Since human trafficking is seldom a solo operation, conspiracy charges often accompany trafficking charges when truck drivers or other people transporting illegal immigrants get caught in the act.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Steadfast Assistance for Texas Defendants

The penalties for human trafficking can be severe, especially if the people that were getting transported got hurt or killed in transit. If you got charged with a  crime related to human trafficking, do not despair.You might be able to work with an attorney to find an outcome that meets your needs better than you might expect. To learn more, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499 or connect with us through our online contact form.


Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Reconciliation

August 3rd, 2017

Divorce is a process; it’s not just an event. For any divorcing couple, some length of time passes between the filing of divorce papers and the date that the divorce becomes final. The length of time that it will take for a couple to divorce depends upon a few factors, including the laws of the state where they are divorcing. Each state has a timetable for divorce proceedings. The length of a couple’s divorce also depends on the couple, and whether they work through the process quickly without having to discuss much, or whether they battle hard and delay the process by being unable to work out an agreement on the issues in their case instead of going to trial. There are also situations where divorce proceedings get put on hold or even abandoned completely because a couple decides to try to reconcile or does indeed reconcile.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently announced that they are taking a break from their divorce proceedings. While the two are not back together, they are working on some of the things that contributed to the demise of their relationship, and they have decided to pause the proceedings to see where things go. Other celebrity couples have done similar things, with some continuing to divorce and some letting the initial divorce filing fade into the background while remaining married, for better or for worse, sometimes for a long time and sometimes for just a few months or years before finally deciding to call it quits.

If celebrities are pausing divorce proceedings to consider reconciliation, you can be sure that many other people who are not celebrities are doing it, too. If you are divorcing and the thought of taking a break to work on things or think about things seems like it might be a good idea, there’s no harm in exploring the possibility. You can always forge ahead if you get the feeling that the divorce should continue. Of course, if the mere mention of the word reconciliation or taking a break to work on things makes you feel angry inside, then don’t do it. Many people put a lot of thought and effort into working through things before they file for divorce and once they have gotten to that point they are sure that it is the right choice for them. If that’s you, keep on moving through your divorce with confidence,

One of the ways that a couple can explore the idea of reconciliation is through couples counseling. Counseling can be beneficial regardless of whether the two of you decide to divorce or stay together. It can help you talk through some things that could make divorce proceedings go more smoothly, or it could make you realize that divorce isn’t really what either of you wants or needs.

If you are considering divorce and you have questions, call our office at (903) 753-7499 today to plan an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. If you prefer, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.