Harrell, Stoebner & Russell, P.C.
Now in Temple
and Killeen

Temple, Texas, General Practice Blog

New Texas law bans texting while driving

Effective September 1, 2017, it will be illegal to simultaneously text and drive in the Lone Star State. "But I thought that was already illegal!" you may be thinking. While many cities in Texas passed local laws in the past banning texting and driving, there has previously been no statewide law banning the practice. Additionally, the legislature has twice attempted to pass similar bills in the past, but one was vetoed by then-governor Perry and the other was stalled by the Senate Transportation Committee. Prior to the new bill's effective date, Texas had the following statewide restrictions in place:

Is a home inspection really necessary?

When you found the perfect house and made an offer, you probably received a list of steps you can expect to occur. For example, your lender will send an appraiser to verify the value of the home. You will meet with your lender to solidify your financing. The lender will also require some proof of homeowners' insurance. Of course, you will schedule an inspection of the house.

Planning to skip that step? Think you might save a little money? Unfortunately, the opposite may be true. Skipping the home inspection has been the regret of many homebuyers who ended up with money pits.

The advantages of a prenuptial agreement

You have finally found the right one. Perhaps it was only a short time after that first date that you knew you wanted to be together for the rest of your lives. Now you are making plans to marry, and that can be an intense process. There is so much to do — the dress, the cake, the reception, the honeymoon, the prenuptial agreement.

If the last item on this list is not on your list, you may want to consider why. Did you know that if you and your future spouse don't draft your own prenuptial agreement, the state of Texas has one ready for you?

What does it take to win a wrongful death lawsuit?

If you lost a loved one in an accident that was the result of another person's negligence or purposeful intent to harm, according to the laws of Texas you may have legal recourse. A wrongful death lawsuit, if successfully litigated, can result in you receiving a monetary judgment for any of your documented losses.

Living with the pain of losing a child, parent, spouse, partner or other loved one in such a tragic and untimely way can be absolutely devastating. Revisiting the tragedy by pursing a lawsuit can be a challenge. Before going down that road, you may want to make sure your case possesses all the required elements for successful litigation.

When seeking guardianship of mom or dad is appropriate

For most people, watching parents age can be difficult. Physical and/or mental health issues may set in that make it challenging and sometimes even impossible for them to care for themselves adequately. If you have a parent who has become incapacitated in some way, according to Texas laws, you can seek guardianship so that you may be awarded the legal right to make necessary decisions for him or her.

When is seeking a guardianship appropriate? What are the responsibilities that come with this role?

Is a spousal support order modifiable?

If, during your marriage, you have been dependent on your spouse financially, getting a divorce and having to figure out how to provide for yourself can be a scary thing. Thankfully, Texas laws allow the awarding of spousal support under the right circumstances. This is a great benefit for those who need financial assistance as they transition from married to single life.

Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, is something you can request as part of your divorce settlement. If awarded, it is usually only paid out for a certain period of time. The spousal support order notes the duration of payments and the amount ordered. What happens, though, if you have a change in circumstances and need either more support or an extension on the duration schedule? Can you modify an alimony order?

I've been injured in a motor vehicle accident: What now?

After you've been in a wreck in the state of Texas and have suffered injuries, seeking medical attention may naturally be your primary focus. However, taking a few other steps is essential following the motor vehicle accident. Failure to take these steps may unfortunately end up costing you in the long run.

Steps to take

Why you should think twice about using online legal document services

Technology and the internet are "disrupting" so many areas of the economy, and the legal profession is no exception. Clients, or prospective clients, want to know what they have to lose by just creating legal documents themselves, using LegalZoom or a similar service. It's cheaper, faster, and maybe easier. What's not to like?

Are you unable to pay child support? You have options.

Child support is often one of the most contentious issues between two parents who are divorcing or two biological parents who are unmarried. In most cases, the non-custodial parent bears the burden of making payments to the primary custodian in order to assist with the care of his or her children. Biological parents have the obligation to financially support their kids until they reach adulthood, but what happens if a parent is unable to adequately meet this demand?

If you cannot pay the full amount of child support, you have the right to seek a modification to the final support order. Texas parents who have experienced a significant and material change in circumstances may be eligible to secure a modification to a child support plan.