Richard Alderman's archive

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?

shadow

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.

shadow

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?

shadow
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.

shadow

Q. Due to the heavy rain in recent weeks, one of my healthy oak trees fell over onto the driveway of our neighbor, damaging his two vehicles parked in the driveway. Am I liable for the repair costs to his cars?

A. If the trees were healthy and blew over as an act of God, you have no liability. For you to be liable, it is necessary to show that you were “negligent” in caring for your trees, and that negligence is why they fell. You are not legally responsible simply because you are the owner of the property and the trees.

shadow