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June 2016 Archives

Know Your Rights: Evidence Obtained During Stop

If you haven't heard, the U.S. Supreme Court came out with a new decision regarding the protections under the 4th Amendment on Monday, June 20, 2016. The case, called Utah v. Strieff, deals with whether evidence can be used against you when the evidence was obtained during an unconstitutional investigatory stop.

Keeping Separate Property Separate

Texas is a community property state, which means that most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses and must be divided between them if they get divorced. Everything from the house to the kitchen table, if it was acquired during the marriage then it is part of the community estate. However, the Texas Family Code recognizes three instances where property is considered separate from the community estate, and thus labelled separate property. The first is the property owned or claimed by one spouse before the marriage. This means that any property that one spouse bought, found, or had been given before the beginning of the marriage is considered separate from the community estate and shall not be divided between the couple during the divorce. The second is any property acquired by the spouse during the marriage by gift, devise, or descent. That's right, even if you acquire property during the marriage, it can still be characterized a separate property as long as someone gave it to you as a gift, willed the property to you, or you inherited the property. Finally, any recovery, except those for loss of earning capacity, for personal injuries you have sustained during the marriage. For example, if you got into a car wreck that broke your leg, any money that you received other than those for loss of earning capability would be considered your separate property.