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Spouses in business together, domestic violence and adoptions in Texas

If you and your spouse have any clue about starting a business with one another, then you will want to read this blog post. Starting a business with your spouse is not like starting with a neighbor or friend. You may end up owing a duty to your spouse as your business partner and as your husband/wife. As such, you must understand the issues surrounding this topic before deciding whether or not to engage with them in this way.

Are you able to start a business with your spouse?

Well, yes, you are. As far as I am aware, you can start a business with anyone that you would like. This includes your spouse. Whether or not you would want to do that is up to you. However, nobody stops you and your spouse from teaming up and starting some business entity together.

For instance, you could set up a corporation together, and both be owners/employees of the business. Or, you could form a partnership where one of you would own the company, and the other would be an employee. Keep in mind that if you were to pay your spouse an unrealistically high wage to avoid paying income taxes, then you may be running afoul of tax laws and run the risk of getting contacted by the IRS for having done so.

Are you liable for the debts of your spouse's business pursuits?

In Texas, you would be responsible for the debts of your spouse in business or your personal lives in many regards. This goes double if you co-signed on loan for your business. The real issue is that while you may have taken the loan out from a bank or credit union in your business's name, you are personally liable for the loan. Most banks will want a personal guarantee of repayment of the loan because your business' guarantee is not sufficient in their minds. Furthermore, the lender will seek as many people as possible if you run into financial problems.

For example, as a business owner spouse, I have seen that you may be asked to sign your home up as collateral for a business loan if the lender wants that to occur in exchange for making a loan to the business.

Domestic violence and marriage in Texas

Let's shift gears to an unfortunate yet all too common issue facing people in marriage- domestic violence. Domestic violence has rightly been a very newsworthy topic of late, and there are laws in Texas that support victims of domestic abuse. There are even protections for you in Texas if you have been abused while in a dating relationship.

Movies and television shows utilize the concept of a protective order in their storylines, and this is an actual remedy if a spouse or partner has abused you. The order will order your abuser to not come into contact with you in any way (in person, via the internet, or on the phone) and will bar them from getting near your home or place of business.

Domestic violence is not limited to physical attacks against you. It can include disturbing you at work or school, making harassing or threatening phone calls to you, following you, surveilling your behavior, and making threats against you or your family members. Those threats do not necessarily have to be followed through with, either.

What to do if a partner or spouse has abused you?

The first place to look to for assistance and protection is your local police force. A common complaint that I have heard is that the police don't take domestic violence incidents seriously enough. While I cannot argue this point, I can say that, in general, the police in our area receive training on identifying domestic abuse, preventing future occurrences, and seeing that solid cases are put together against domestic abuse perpetrators.

If you need medical assistance, the hospital or doctor that you seek treatment from likely has a protocol in place to deal with situations like yours. Social services offered by the State of Texas are designed to help people in your position to keep you and your children safe.

Rights as a parent in Texas

You, as a parent, have the right to direct the control, care, and upbringing of your child. I realize these are extensive rights, but they are essential in the grand scheme of things. You can decide where your child will live, where your child will attend school, their religious practices, and what medical treatment to obtain if any.

These rights are independent of the State of Texas, and in most circumstances, the State has little or no power to infringe upon these rights unless and until you are harming your child or it is determined that you are not acting in their best interests. In extreme situations or life-threatening to your child, the courts can step in and strip parents of these rights for either a period or permanently.

Rights of your children in Texas

Just as you as a parent have rights, your children have rights as well. Your children's most fundamental right flows from a duty that you have to care for, support, and provide for your children. Food, clothing, shelter, and education are all included under this fundamental right that your children possess. As we just discussed, your child has a right to a safe upbringing. The State can and will step in to see that this right is preserved. These are among the most challenging cases that family law attorneys handle- Child Protective Services (CPS) cases.

Your child can be removed from your care if CPS receives a report alleging that you have engaged in the abuse or neglect of your child. CPS must get a court order that authorizes them to remove your child before doing so. However, if it is determined that an emergency is in place that requires that your child be removed from your home, CPS can do so without a court order. One must be obtained after a hearing in short order.

Adoption in Texas

If you are interested in adopting a child that is not your relative, you will need to go through an adoption agency or a private group to assist you with this process. The State of Texas licenses agencies that supervise the care of the biological mothers who are willing to give their child up to adoption. Once the child is born, the agency will assist with the placement process of that child.

Prepare to have your background looked into extensively if you are interested in adopting a child. The waiting list for many agencies depends on the nationality, location, and other factors related to a potential adoptive child.

Private adoptions allow you to pass the long waiting times of adoption agencies and waiting lists that come with them. Many attorneys in Texas can work with you to adopt a child. The attorney will work with groups and doctors who know of a mother willing to give their child up for adoption. If a relationship can be created between adoptive parents and a biological mother, the adoptive parents will often pay medical costs for the birth mother.

More information on adoptions to be provided in tomorrow's blog post

If you are interested in learning more about adoption in Texas, please return to our blog tomorrow to learn more. Any questions on these subjects can be addressed to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week in which your questions can be addressed and answered. Thank you so much for being so interested in this blog post, and we hope to see you all back tomorrow.

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