Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sibling Rivalry and Elder Planning

Planning for an elder parent is difficult enough without old "baggage" showing up.  However, that is often exactly what happens.  The stress and uncertainty of dealing with an elder parent's future can activate old family issues and rivalries that everyone thought were long gone.

Here are some tips to help ease the pain of sibling rivalry when a elderly parent is unable to make a plan for himself/herself or has come to the point where additional help is needed.


  1. When possible, always include your parent in the decision-making process.
  2. Try to be realistic about each siblings strengths and weaknesses, including your own.
  3. Try to put aside hurt feelings and deal with the reality of the situation.
  4. Have a family meeting as soon as possible.  
  5. Get the facts.  This includes seeking medical advice from your parent's doctor when indicated.
  6. Gather a list of your parent's assets and debts.
  7. Seek professional advice.  See an elder planning attorney early in the process.  You can bring your "family meeting" to the lawyer's office so that everyone hears the same information at the same time. For those families spread across a large geographic area, skype or other remote connections may be indicated. 
  8. Choose an attorney who exhibits compassion and concern for your parent, family and the situation.  Don't hesitate to tell the lawyer the entire truth about concerns, fears, and sibling rivalries that may affect the decision-making process.  It is important to consider the whole picture, not just the "business aspects" of this very challenging situation. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Texas Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance in Texas can be ordered if there is a finding of family violence and/or if the couple has been married for ten or more years.

Spousal support does not go on forever, but the duration will be determined by the length of the marriage.  If the couple was married from 10-20 years, the spousal support may be ordered for 5 years.  If they were married from 20-30 years, support may be ordered for 7 years.

The spouse receiving the support can be awarded up to 20% of the payor's gross income.

Spousal support is not automatic, and the spouse seeking this support must show the judge that the support is reasonable and fair in the circumstances.

A Texas Family Law attorney can help you evaluate your case to determine if you might be entitled to spousal support.

Kalish Law Office - The Woodlands Texas Helping clients with spousal support issues and other family law issues since 1984!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Employers: What Questions Should Not be Asked in A Job Interview?

Employers: This is for you!

There are some questions that are legally impermissible to ask in a job interview.   Some questions are obviously impermissible, others are more "subtle".

Examples of  improper questions:

  1. How old are you?  
  2. Will you require us to give you time off for certain religious holidays?
  3. Are you married?
  4. Do you have children? 
  5. Will you be able to work when school districts give children time off school?
  6. Are you pregnant?
  7. Are you a U.S. Citizen?
  8. How much do you weigh? 
  9. Have you ever been arrested?
  10. Your last name sounds _______________(Polish, Arabic, Etc.), is it? 
  11. Do you have a disability? 

At the Pre-employment stage you can inquire:

  1. Can you perform the requirements of the job with or without reasonable accomodation?
  2. If you are hired, can you show that you have authority to legally work in the U.S.?
  3. Do you meet the minimum age requirement to work at this job?
  4. What languages do you speak, read, or write fluently? (as it relates to the job requirements and performance)
  5. Whether the person can work the specific hours that the position requires. 
  6. Criminal convictions as they relate to fitness for the job or the job requirements. 
Be certain that any testing, or job requirements at the pre-employment stage are applied to all applicants, not just some. (for instance, asking all applicants for a certain position whether or not they can arrive at the office within 20 minutes (if there is a reasonable work necessity for this) is fine.   Asking this of only applicants that have children is not permissible). 

Remember, the above applies to pre-employment  situations.  Once you hire, you will need to verify their employment eligibility, you can collect certain data and for affirmative action documentation, and you may need to get further medical or disability information as relating to job performance and requirements. 

If you have any doubts as to whether an inquiry is proper, don't ask (or at least don't ask until you do a little research first).  The EEOC website is an excellent resource for employers. 

Kalish Law Office - Business Attorneys - The Woodlands Texas - Since 1984