Richard Alderman's archive

Q. I was married about 10 years ago. Shortly after we married, my spouse left me. I have not seen or heard from him in almost eight years. Two years ago, I fell in love with a wonderful man who asked me to marry him. I said yes, and we had a simple ceremony. Am I now married to both men? Does my second wedding invalidate my first? I never told my husband that I was married before.

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Q. My stepdad recently died. He was the only father I knew for more than 40 years. He did not have a will. Do I inherit any of his property?

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Q. A credit card company sued me and has a judgment against me. Now it has garnished my bank account, and all the money in the account has been taken. I thought there was no garnishment in Texas?

A. With the exception of obligations for child support and student loans, Texas law prohibits wage garnishment. In other words, a creditor who sues for a credit card debt cannot garnish your wages through your employer. Creditors, however, can garnish a bank checking or savings account.

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Q. I would like to know who owns the apartment complex where I live. The property manager says it is none of my business. How can I get the name and address of the owner?

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With this ring ...

Q. I am separated and in the process of getting a divorce. I have been living with a man as his common law wife for almost two years. Is there anything special I need to do to have our marriage recognized?

A. As I have said many times before, the legal affect of a common law marriage is no different than any other marriage. To have a common law marriage you must agree to be married, live together as married and hold yourself out as married. Once you meet the requirements to establish a common law marriage, you are married. There is no need to do anything else.

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