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Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC
Blog

Are You Sure You’re Married?

People often appear in my office and tell me that they are “common-law married.”  Further conversation usually shows that they are not, in fact, married.  There are a number of very common misunderstandings regarding this issue. Yes, there is such a thing as common-law (or informal) marriage in Texas.  But there are three very specific things that you must do for an informal marriage to exists. First of all, you have to agree to be married. Not get married someday, but that you are married, right now—you just don’t want a ceremony.  “Agree” is a key  word here—you BOTH have

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Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC
Blog

Understanding Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a valuable tool for many people.  This article will address the main types of Powers of Attorney, and what this document can (and cannot) do. Any power of attorney involves two people:  the Principal (the person signing the POA) and the Agent (the person being given the right to make decisions for the Principal).  There may be one or more Agents named, and those Agents may be required to act together, by agreement, or subsequently.  For example, if Agent A becomes unable or unwilling to act for the Principal, then Agent B “takes over.” It’s

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Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC
Blog

Teaching Pigs to Sing

For as long as I can remember, my father had a wooden sign hanging in his kitchen that said, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” When I was growing up I never gave it much thought; my dad had silly signs all over his house, and this was just one of them. When he passed away in 2010, I kept the pig sign as a memento. It now hangs in my law office, but it now has meaning. As an attorney I’ve come to learn that most attorneys with whom

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Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC
Blog

Why I Practice Family Law

There are many practicing attorneys—good, competent, ethical attorneys—who want nothing to do with family law. They say they don’t want to deal with the drama, the emotions. And I can’t argue with them—family law does involve some very emotional issues. There is a saying that, when it comes to family law, we are dealing with good people when they are behaving their worst. I love the practice of family law. When I made the decision to go to law school, it was for the express purpose of practicing family law. I went to law school as a non-traditional student. Prior

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