Property Division

Live at Five’s board certified family attorney, Sonya Coffman, answers questions submitted by Southeast Texas KFDM News viewers. These questions include:

  • If someone owns property before they’re married and they pass away after they are married, does the property go to their children or spouse?


well the Texas family code constitution define marriage at the union of one man and one woman however earlier this month the state courts granting a divorce between two women it begs the question as to whether same sex couples should be allowed to divorce in Texas Sonya Coffman joins us now with more and answers to your questions regarding family law and this is very interesting for the State of Texas to even grant a divorce between two women it is and Greg Abbot the Attorney General appealed to the court in Austin granting the divorce to two women and the Court of Appeals in Austin said that the divorce stands so the questions not over because there's also an appeal from the Dallas divorce before the Court of Appeals but it's a very fluid area in the law right now and we've got lots of questions so we’ll get to those from our viewers this one says my ex-wife says she claims our daughter as a dependent when filing for taxes there are a large number of children in the household and only three can be claimed as dependents I'm curious can I take my daughter or take my wife my ex-wife back to court and have the judge allow me to claim my daughter every other year I think it would only be fair that is an interesting question but it's not really a legal question it's a question for the IRS because there is a specific publication available online I think the number maybe publication five oh one but double check the number but it deals specifically with which parent gets to claim the exemption in the event of a divorce is that not typically in the divorce decree sometimes the parties will agree to alternate years and it's part of the overall bargaining but the courts generally say if the parties follow the Internal Revenue Code in making that decision oh its five oh one I think it's five oh one yes its specific examples of divorced families and children and the general rule is the parent that has the child more than fifty percent of the time they get to claim them okay on to KFDM News Facebook page a question I would like the father of my sons to sign over his rights and drop the child support he owes is this something that I have to take to court yes you would and judges are very skeptical of parents who want to relinquish their rights for the purpose of avoiding child support so uh... I think that's a very iffy proposition of whether that court would approve that if there's a step parent ready to step in and take over the child support obligations then or the support obligation I should say then the courts would be more inclined to grant that but just to avoid child-support probably not a good idea okay another question I would like to know if someone owns property before they're married and then they die does the property go to the surviving spouse or the child of the deceased under the laws of investee it would be divided between the spouse and the child in the best uh... thing would be to consult a probate attorney for the specifics on that alright we've got lots of other questions and we’ll have to get to those next month I'm sorry thank you so much for joining us we appreciate it well I did you have a question about family law let attorney Sonya Coffman answer your questions you can always fax us those questions eight nine two seven three oh five email us at or just post your question on our KFDM News Facebook page