Is Child Support Mandatory in Texas?

Child support can be a delicate subject, to say the least. While some people get distracted by sending payments to their former spouse or co-parent, it is important to remember that child support is put in place to help ensure that both parents are providing financial support to their child. After all, both parents have a legal responsibility to provide such support to a child that is their own. While child support is often ordered in situations where parents are not married or are no longer married, you may be wondering whether or not child support is mandatory in Texas.

Is Child Support Mandatory in Texas?

Child support is not mandatory to be ordered in all cases, but a child support order is often put in place in most cases. For those parents involved in a child support case, it is critical to keep in mind the fact that all orders made by the court are done so with the best interest of the child in mind. Because of this, parents may mutually agree to not paying or receiving child support payments, but the judge may order child support anyways.

Texas has child support guidelines in place that are established by the Texas Family Code and are meant to assist the family courts in calculating how much child support is to be owed by one or both parents. While parents can agree to pay above and beyond what the court establishes as the necessary child support payments, they cannot agree to pay less. Should the parents reach an agreement on child support payment amounts and timing of payments, it must be approved by the court.

Generally speaking, the parent who spends less time with the child, the non-custodial parent, will be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. The paying parent is referred to as the “obligor.” The recipient of these payments is referred to as the “obligee” parent. Many factors go into considering when child support should be ordered and how much should be ordered. Need and ability to pay are two of the primary factors. A parents need for the payments to support the child and the other parent’s ability to pay will be central to the child support calculation. Other relevant factors will include the expenses of the child. The medical needs and expenses of the child will often be central to the calculation of support.

In sum, parents may agree that no child support needs to be paid and the court may approve this arrangement. If the best interest of the child dictates that child support should be paid, the court will order otherwise. Before agreeing to no child support, however, parents should consider the problems that can come from such an arrangement. Child support can be a good way to help ensure both parents are remaining financially responsible for their child.

Family Law Attorneys

Child support questions? Get the answers you need from the family law team at Navarrete & Schwartz. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.


Man yelling behind upset woman

6 Things To Remember If You Are Divorcing A Narcissist

Man yelling behind upset woman


Narcissists are people who have the personality of thinking and admiring themselves. As they have a huge need for attention and admiration for themselves, they lack empathy for others resulting in troubled relationships.

Things to Remember When Divorcing a Narcissist

These people remain captivating and charming in the first place, but when they start staying together with their partners, adjustments become difficult for them. When divorcing a narcissist, you should remember the following things.

Defend Yourself Against The Lies In Court

You should use a diary and take notes of everything, even if it seems insignificant. It would help if you communicated with your narcissist partner through mail or texts so that written documents remain as proof. Your verbal communication should be minimal, without any emotions. You should not provide any reaction or get provoked by the words of your partner. You should also not discuss any court proceedings. In case of any confusion, you should consult with your lawyer.

Never Go For Negotiation If They Beg And Plead

They will never let you go easily. So they can plead and beg for what they want. They will even do things to make you feel wonderful and will promise that they will change their attitude and behavior. But when they cannot soften you, they might curse you, saying that you will never find someone good or you will be ruined. Whatever the situation, never get manipulated into going back to them. If you are courageous enough to stick to your course, you will be grateful in the long run. A family law attorney will guide you so you never get manipulated.

Never Try Rationalizing With Your Partner

Rationalizing will never work with your partner, who will soon be your ex. Narcissists will never care about rational thoughts and are very much involved in what they think. If you want to share rational thoughts, you should share them with your support team, who will understand you properly. They are aware of the truth and your situation and will be there for you whenever required.

Never Get Provoked With Lies

Your narcissistic partner may lie in court. It is to get your attention and provoke you. They may scream, throw tantrums and do whatever they want to provoke you. You need to breathe calmly and never get involved in the provocation. Though it is very tough to stay calm in situations where you are being humiliated with huge lies, you need to stay patient and calm to get results in the long run.

Never Become Emotional

A narcissist’s main goal will be to get a rise out of you. When you get emotional, they will easily prove you the person they want you to be proved in front of the court. They are very manipulative and charming. If you fall for their charm, it will create a picture of their positive side and your negative side in front of the court. The less emotional you will remain, the better your position will be. It would be good if you never screamed or yelled out your feelings at the court, as it will never look good in front of them.

Hire A Specialist Lawyer

The divorce process is tough, but with a specialist lawyer, it will become smooth. Make sure that the lawyer has dealt with similar cases before so that you have a high chance of winning the case. It will help if you are looking for lawyers who specialize in dealing with Divorce from a narcissist.


Dealing with narcissists is difficult if you get easily provoked and emotional. So, when you are fighting a case against them, you should hire a specialist lawyer against them who can help you win the case.

The post 6 Things To Remember If You Are Divorcing A Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.


Why You Should Always Consider Mediation Before Litigating a Divorce

Divorce is a complex process that can bring feelings of anger or sadness to everyone involved. Conflict in the divorce can mean more emotional and economic pain, for the litigants and any children involved.

Mediating a divorce is an excellent decision to help avoid an expensive legal battle and reduce that stress by providing the parties to the suit with more control over the case’s outcome.

Learn why mediation is better than divorce, then contact our Dallas divorce mediation attorneys for more information.

Divorce Mediation Overview

Divorce mediation allows separating couples to meet with a neutral third party, with or without counsel, to resolve any issues or items of contention in a divorce. Mediation is preferable to litigation because it is less upsetting and almost always less expensive. Divorce mediation also usually allows the parties to finish their case quicker than a standard divorce.

Another important benefit to mediation is that you and your partner have the ultimate say—subject to agreement and the confines of the law—over your contested issues. Outside of extreme circumstances when mediation may not be the best course of action, any agreement reached in mediation is binding on the Court. This means that you both can keep the power and control over your relationship, and the Court is not making ordering things that no one asked for.

How Mediation Works

Divorce mediation starts when you and your partner agree and select a mediator, or the Court appoints one. While divorce mediation is voluntary in most states, Texas courts have the power to order the parties to mediate their case. This is the limit to what the Court can do, as the Court cannot force parties to reach agreements.

While mediation is highly successful in resolving cases, it is most effective when both parties are willing to negotiate their contentious divorce issues. Usually, the mediator will set up an appointment in a neutral setting with the spouses (and counsel, if any). During this initial meeting, the spouses can talk about their views on common divorce topics that, include:

  • Division of assets
  • Child visitation and custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony

The first discussion helps your mediator to understand how realistic a possible resolution to the case is via mediation. As a further means of “keeping the peace” during these sessions, the mediator will generally have each side in a separate room (or Zoom room, if being done electronically).

There is no time limit on divorce mediation in Texas. Everyone can continue working with the mediator to reach an agreement until an agreement is reached, or the process becomes unworkable. If the issues are too complex or the conflict is too high for agreements to be reached, litigation is still possible. Still, mediation is almost always less expensive than a lengthy divorce fought out in the courts. Parties can save thousands of dollars—and ever-valuable time—by resolving their case through mediation.

Is Mediation An Option?

Mediation is possible if there is a chance you and your partner will agree to the terms of a divorce. Also, both sides need to be open on finances, and agreement is required on child custody matters. However, mediation is not usually advisable if there is a history of domestic violence.

Contact Our Dallas Divorce Mediation Attorneys Today

Divorce is painful, and a contentious divorce can be emotionally and financially devastating. Everyone is better off when both sides can agree to divorce terms without an extended legal quarrel. Divorce mediation is a great choice to reach these agreements, whether the issues are alimony, child custody, or division of property.

The Dallas divorce mediation attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson can help with mediating your divorce to bring your case to an agreeable conclusion without a lengthy legal battle. Our attorneys are proud to serve the communities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, and San Antonio. Please contact our Dallas divorce mediation attorneys at (214) 273-2400.

The post Why You Should Always Consider Mediation Before Litigating a Divorce appeared first on ONDA Family Law.


Is military disability pay a marital asset?

If you are a military veteran who has a service-connected disability, then you may be able to receive disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs. How VA disability can impact a divorce case in Texas is what we are going to be discussing in today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Subjects as diverse as child support calculations, spousal maintenance, and community property division may be impacted by your eligibility for VA disability payments. Understanding the relationship between these areas of your divorce is important considering that there is a small margin for error in any divorce case.

If you have a service-connected VA disability rating of at least 10% then you are entitled to VA disability payments. Your military retirement will be reduced on a dollar-by-dollar basis if your disability rating is under 50%. So, why would you want to waive VA retirement benefits to receive VA disability benefits? The two primary reasons why disability benefits may be preferable to retirement benefits are due to disability benefits not being subject to division in a divorce and disability benefits are not taxable.

How can you apply for VA disability benefits?

Just because you have a service-connected disability through the military does not mean that you will automatically receive VA disability payments. Rather, you need to follow the process that the military has laid out for veterans and active-duty service members to apply for and receive VA disability benefits. While some people in your position will apply for and receive disability benefits at the same, they that they separate from the military, there is no deadline to apply for disability. It could be years later that you first apply for disability benefits and receive them.

What this means for your divorce is that you should not assume that just because your spouse is not receiving benefits at this moment, he or she will not begin to receive them in the future. The VA will pay on any person’s claim who can prove that he or she has a service-connected disability rating of between 10 and 100%. Depending on whether you have a spouse and children you can receive a monthly disability payment from the VA of over $3,500 per month.

Backdoor division of VA disability benefits

As we have already discussed, VA disability benefits are not divisible in a divorce as community property. Once the funds are deposited into a jointly held bank account then disability payments may potentially be divided in a divorce. What we are describing here is something called “commingling” where separate property and community property are placed together. Rather, it would be wise for you to segregate your separate prop (like VA disability) into a bank account that will never have community property funds within it. This way you can be sure that the bank account in question will never have an issue with commingled funds.

How can VA disability impact decisions on child support and spousal maintenance?

The questions about child support and spousal maintenance revolve around income. VA disability benefits do count as income when it comes to calculating child support or spousal maintenance. As opposed to the community estate, disability benefits from the VA can be a part of a veteran’s income for purposes of setting child support.

For alimony or spousal maintenance purposes, Texas is an outlier among the rest of the 49 states in our union. Texas family courts will typically not consider VA disability payments as income for calculating spousal maintenance.

Can VA disability payments be garnished for child support and alimony?

Wage garnishment in Texas typically takes place via a wage withholding order. A wage withholding order is usually submitted to an obligor spouse or parent’s employer after a child custody or divorce case. In that way, the employer will know how much money to withhold to pay child support each month.

Military disability benefits cannot be treated as community property in a Texas divorce. Let’s look at a case where a husband filed an appeal from his divorce arguing that the court incorrectly divided up his military disability benefits.

In that case, the wife had filed for divorce. In her Original Petition for Divorce, this woman argued that she should receive a disproportionate share of the community estate for a variety of reasons. Her income was much less than her husband’s, she had no advanced education and she had no separate property from before the marriage. Ultimately, the divorce court awarded her more than half of her husband’s military retirement benefits. Her husband immediately appealed the decision.

The husband’s main argument was that in awarding his wife 55% of her military retirement pay, the court had included disability benefits in that equation. The wife argued that this was not the case and that the final decree of divorce awarded him his military disability and Social Security disability benefits as a part of his separate estate.

What did the final decree of divorce say, exactly?

The language as contained in their final decree of divorce stated that the wife was to be awarded fifty-five percent of the husband’s disposable military retired pay including any accrued unpaid bonuses, disability plan, or benefits. Under awards to the husband, the same language was used. A domestic relations order was drafted to divide up the military benefits and included stated that only disposable retired pay could be considered community property. Military disability pay would not count as military benefits for division in the divorce.

What did the appellate court say?

When the husband appealed the trial court orders it went to an appellate court here in Texas. The final decree of divorce contained an award for the husband of his military disability and Social Security disability benefits as separate property. The appellate court found the definition of disposable retired pay did exclude military disability pay. As a result, the appellate court found that the trial court did not make a mistake and award any of the husband’s disability benefits.

Dividing up marital property in a Texas divorce is not easy

The subject of community property division in a Texas divorce arises with a great deal of regularity. It is also complicated- more complicated than many guides on the internet will lead you to believe. One of the most difficult aspects of community property division to figure out for many couples has to do with how government benefits are divided up. It could be a teacher’s retirement or military retirement, there are methods of calculating what percentage of these benefits can be divided in the divorce that relate to your length of service as well as how many years of marriage coincided with that length of service.

Veterans’ benefits, including military benefits, are no different. Special rules apply that will determine how your military benefits will be divided in the divorce and whether they are even subject to division. We have already seen how military disability benefits are not divisible by a Texas family court. Additionally, because of the example that we shared in the earlier section of today’s blog post hopefully, you can understand just how critical it is to make sure that your final decree of divorce is worded clearly and unambiguously. The result, if you don’t, is to prolong the case and put you in a position where you spend money that otherwise would not have to.

Military benefits are done through federal law and Texas law determines how property is divided in a divorce. Your attorney will need to be able to divide up those benefits correctly and understand how state and federal law treat these subjects. It is a bad situation to find yourself in when your final decree of divorce is not correct. This will cost you time, money, and stress that otherwise would not need to be spent. Hiring an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is a great way to help ensure that you do not find yourself in this position moving forward.

Our attorneys and staff have been fortunate enough to be able to represent members of our military and veterans alike in their divorce cases since our office was first opened. In addition, military spouses are among the most frequently seen clients of our office. Texas is home to many military members and veterans, and we are honored whenever we have the opportunity to work with military families to help you all accomplish your goals during a difficult time. Contact us today for a free-of-charge consultation with one of the experienced family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.

Military retirement benefits

Military pensions can be subject to division in your divorce. If the pension was contributed to during your marriage, then those portions of the military benefits will be divisible in the divorce. Any portion that was contributed before the marriage will count as separate property and will not be divisible. The tricky part for you and your spouse will be to determine how much of the military retirement benefits are community property and then how to divide up that community property portion of your benefits.

At the time of your divorce, the military pension becomes frozen. Once you or your spouse file for divorce the pension’s value will be what it was on the date of filing. The reason why this law is in place is that it would be possible for a military spouse to take advantage of their spouse being promoted during the divorce and then be eligible to receive more money as a result of that promotion. Cost-of-living adjustments are typically allowed during a divorce, but the pension amount stays steady where it was at the beginning of the case.

The bottom line is while a military divorce will follow the same procedures and processes as a civilian divorce, there are specific areas where a military divorce can differ from a civilian divorce, as well. The length of your marriage, while you were serving in the military, will also make a difference when calculating benefits.

If you are married to a military member, then the length of your marriage will have a tremendous impact on your ability to receive benefits. Simply put, if you and your spouse have been married for less than 10 years then you should not expect to receive much of anything in the divorce as far as military benefits. As you are probably aware, Texas is a community property state which means that debts and property accumulated during the marriage will be subject to division in the divorce.

You and your spouse need to have been married for at least 10 years to become eligible for military retirement pay. In addition, the ten years of your marriage must have overlapped with 10 years of military service to qualify. This is different from a civilian divorce where a spouse would be eligible to receive a portion of their spouse’s retirement benefits upon divorce no matter the length of the marriage.

As soon as you and your spouse have been married for ten years you would become eligible to receive a portion of your spouse’s retirement pay. Here are a few benchmarks to keep in mind as far as retirement pay is concerned. At 15 years, you would be eligible to receive half of the retirement pay and one year of health insurance after the divorce comes to an end. Once you have been married for twenty years or longer you would be eligible for half of the retirement pay, health insurance, and other benefits available through the military. The health insurance would go away once you remarried, however.

The importance of hiring an experienced family law attorney in a military divorce

You need to include the specific language that the military requires to receive the correct amount of retirement benefits. Your final decree of divorce should include whatever language the military mandates be included in these orders. Failing to include this language in the order can ruin your chances of receiving the property that you worked so hard to obtain in your divorce. You should be accurate when listing how long you or your spouse served in the military and how long your marriage was.

The government will send the orders back to you if not completed correctly. Keep in mind that this will cost you time in that the attorney will have to go back and correct their work. On top of that, the extra time and effort that it takes to correct these mistakes will cost you time and money. This is adding insult to injury and makes it very difficult to be able to budget for a divorce or plan for your life after the divorce has come to an end. Able to say accurately this is when the divorce ended and here the financial consequences of the divorce are an important part of the case for peace of mind’s sake.

No matter how long you and your spouse were married, if he or she won’t be retiring for another twenty years then you will have to wait a while to get the money promised to you in the divorce. Your spouse may become the person who must pay you the retirement pay when it does come time for those payments to be made. This sounds ok at the time of your divorce but can become cumbersome ultimately for a person in your shoes given that you have no idea what will become of your spouse after the divorce.

If your ex-spouse does not pay you the correct amount of money at retirement you will need to keep tabs on him or her and then file an enforcement lawsuit against him or her. Time is a factor that stands to harm almost every divorce at this stage. Instead of dividing up military retirement pay, why not divide up other property instead? This method can help you to get a case immediately rather than having to wait decades.

You can ask for more equity in the home, a greater amount of child support or spousal maintenance, or anything in between. There are many ways to prepare for a divorce when it comes to community property division. You should begin by going through all of your assets and debts and develop a plan on how to divide them in your divorce. You are only limited by your circumstances and creativity in this regard. Otherwise, having an experienced family law attorney can help you to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to the division of marital property.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about your family’s circumstances that may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.



Divorce Attorney Nicole Ford Only Fans Page Key to Silicon Valley  Honey Pot Operation

Attorneys Michele Dauber, Lisa Bloom, Gloria Allred, Brad Baugh, Christina Adames,  Nicole Ford, BJ Fadem, Heather Allan, Laura Wasser and Christopher Melcher  have been secretly running an Escort Service, whose biggest investors are clients of attorneys Thomas Girardi and Jack Trotter.

The Business, Pretty Women,  owned by shareholders in JAMS, and held in offshore accounts controlled by Alden Capital  uses  OnlyFans and Craiglist to recruit talent to fuel  talent for California’s most exclusive communities that doubles as a domestic help and nanny referral service operating out of a network of  autobody shops owned as part of a secondary employment providers owned and operated by Santa Clara Police Department employees as pooled by Tyson Green.  Talent  also needed seasonably to run charity auctions in Silicon Valley. Auctions by invitation only and held at the Los Altos, Los Gatos  and San Jose Country Clubs. Oranized through the courts, the county,  the local bar and local police associations. 

Ford, along with attorney Christopher Melcher used Pretty Women for a  Honey Pot  operation trafficking women and children in  San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Sacramento Counties family law cases.

Ford used  Yolo County divorce lawyer Brain Pakpour and  Weave in Davis /Sacramento . In San Jose Ford refers transgender attorney BJ Fadem to bring in kids for Silicon Valley immigrants willing to pay for  children and domestic help.  WomenSV in Los Altos, earns the largest profits by bringing in women from high asset divorce cases where Ruth Patrick Darlene brings buyers and sellers for California’s escort services in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Orange County. In Orange County Ford  connects to Keith Dolnick. In Orage County she connects to Christopher Melcher and the Southern California real estate market.    



San Joaquin Judge Profits from  Sex, Drugs and Stealing Kids

Following an appearance at California’s Judicial Council, San Joaquin County Judge Robin Appel  was invited to a secret dinner club in San Jose by Judge Patricia Lucas , the presiding judge of Santa Clara County who doubled as a legal advisor for California’s court adminstrators. 

When Appel appeared at Three Flames in San Jose, she was instantly recruited to a network of lawyers, judges, reporters, therapists  and cops  connected to California’s family courts that operates underground and through a dark money market. The enterprise is known for  moving drugs and kids up and down the state when their parents are involved in a divorce, and one parent is hiding sexual abuse, or fraud. These are the clients willing to pay anything to silence a former spouse and their children. 

As part of the recruitment process, the lawyers and judges promised Appeal media coverage in the Daily Journal and newpapers owned by Alden Capital. She would be given awards from the local bar, the gateway to future employment  at JAMS or ADR Services ,

Once retired from San Joaquin’s family court,. Appel was promised 20 times the income  she could as a public court judge.  Until that day, Appel was to award attorneys for lawyers  connected to the local bar fees. Fees must be awarded  in a manner that could not be reversed on appeal. Once she had brought in over $10 million to lawyers , veried for orders to pay trust accounts, or billing statements approved for lawyers acting in her through court appointments, the dream job as private judge would be hers.

The fastest way to earn the money was to sell family homes and give lawyers the equity. As a family court judge, Appel could also appoint lawyers and threrapists referring therapty and reunification camps for kids in welathy families.  Appel  reportedly agreed to do her part to  increase  busienss that operated outside of the court in San Jaoquin, overlaping with networks in the Sacramento to the north  connected to attorneys Nancy Perkovich and Paula Salinger, and to the south in Modesto as connected to attorney Tom Hogan., who provides payments to the district attorney’s office. 

Insiders at the schools where Appel’s  daughters, Sarah and Rachel, attend note Appel repeatedly used her position as a judge to access information about the families involved in family law cases to access. Appel used connections inside the school to alter the files of students to benefit the parent able to pay the network the most money. 

San Joaquin County family law attorneys Diane Butler and Lisa Theissen were recruited by Appel to the enterprise and to bring Appel business as a private judge. These valley lawyers  trained with lawyers in Contra Costa and Santa Clara through a network firmly  established by Phil Stal and Lynn Steinberg whose domain is Arizona and Southern California, largely Los Angeles and Orange County. Steinberg scored the Britney Spears conservatorship gig , the higest earning case seen in LA. 

For their part, Butler and Theirssen have tapped into drug rings connected through therapists Jann Blacksotne, John Page and Marcia Clark.. The rings run from Humbolt County and down into San Jose and LA where drugs are moved to vulnerable kids placed in foster care by CPS, or reunification camps because of high asset parents involved in a divorce.  

Attorneys John Conway and Rebekha Frye in San Jose and Los Gatos, are known to supplying kids drugs through lawyers appointed in their parents divorce. Conway’s clients are active in the cannibis industry where they have access to large sums of untrackable cash. 
Cash is deposited to attorney IOLTA trust accounts where it can be used to pay off cops, judges and theraptists willing to write reports for winning cusotdy of kids at the center of their parents’ divorce. 

The more absuive the parent, and the more they have to hide, the more the clients pay to the underground network using attorney trust accounts to move the money without IRS oversight. 

A paralegal working for Butler stated, ‘They know the IRS and the bar won’t do anything, so it has become the wild west and children are being destroyed all to get these lawyers and quacks rich. ” 



Divorce Lawyers Traffick Kids, Fees Funded by  NFL

Criminal defense attorney Eric Geffon handled high profile criminal cases in Santa Clara County. At the same time, he was  paid by the NFL to silence women and young girls who made allegations of rape or sexual abuse against 49er football players.  When he became a judge, he brouoght in attorney Nicole Ford to take over the lucrative payments that came largely under the table from 49er players, unions and mangers. Players raping women and absusing the mothers of their children was bad for ticket sales and community support needed for permits. 

Karyn Sinunu Towery, a Santa Clara County District Attorney  insider, was reportedly paid milions of dollars to drop  criminal charges against 49er players, When public pressure mounted, Sinunu Towery began to “volunteer”  for Santa Clara University’s Northern California Innocence Project. Behind the scenes she worked with Santa Clara government attorney Ann Ravel to get kickbacks that saw judges issuing orders to take kids via CPS, or private businesses such as Family Bridges. 

According to secret recordings taken of  Elise Mitchell while she attended Overeaters  Anonymous meetings, Nicole  Ford, Sean Onderick, Hector Moreno and Mark Erickson were paid  millons of dollars from the 49ers to bury complaints about players raping, absuing and impregnating young women connected with Alameda and Santa Clara Counties.    

Nicole Ford moved money into charities , including WomenSV and Community Solutions, If women complained there, Ford would have them  silenced, keeping allegations out of the news. Once victims were silenced, Mitchell and Ford were paid to bury complaints everywhere they could be made. . The pattern exists in other citites and counties with NFL franchises. 

These lawyers do not act alone. They are rarely proseucted by the state bar or district attorney. They are largely assisted by government attorneys. In Santa Clara,and Orange County.  Ford had help from government lawyers  Ann Ravel and Ward Penfold.  

Ravel who worked for Maplight , moved back to  Santa Clara County after  triple counting children in foster care to get more funds from the federal goverment. When a whistleblower complaint sought to expose the ghost children scandal , Ann Ravel moved to the Department of Justice, DOJ , to cover it up and mainstain her county connections and recruit for a private judge network that threw off high commissions and bonuses for referral of high asset divorce cases that could be moved into private judges, or where real estate could be liquidated and convered for the Santa Clara based network that based out of Los Gatos where Ravel resides. 


Elise Mitchell was paid by the NFL to keep Black players out of the news and bankruptcy court. For her involvement Mitchell  acted as a ghost attorney and was paid millions under- the- table and in loan payoffs.

While attending an  Overeaters Anonymous Meeting, Mitchell was recorded explaining how NFL money funded judge bribes and the trafficking of women used to statisfy players. At one point Mitchell claimed  it took boat loads of cash to pay off cops to bury arrests of players. 

For the messy custody cases 49er players landed,   Mitchell noted that family law attorneys Jessica Huey,  Mia Mosher and Nicole Ford taught those in the network to use  family court proceedings to provide a fresh and  steady supply of underage girls and women to  keep players and NFL managers happy.

Mitchell noted the involvment of Mia Mosher linked into  custody experts Lynn Steinberg,   Dr. Rebecca Bailey and  Phil Stahl who  could remove  children from middle class and wealthy homes during a  divorce  or custody dispute through the use of Family Bridges, a reunificaiton camp and therapy sessions. Family Bridges assures   judges, lawyers, cops and reporters from San Jose Mercury News, and Orange County Register ample cash and protection to keep the enterprise flowing.  


Divorce attorney Mia Mosher has been paid millions to bring bogus reports from custody  experts  who raise money with Randy Rand by getting judges and lawyers to invest in private businesses  or to donate to charities.
These reunificaiton camps are similar to the private prisons exposed in the Kids – 4- Cash scandal, only in California.  Reunifciation camps are shaking down parents by court order for as much as $45,000 in ” services” for a weekend.  Some parents report being billed over $600,000 , with funds taken by the court from the equity in the family home by weaponizing conflict over children. 


Can I have my attorney’s fees paid by my spouse?

Everyone knows that a divorce is not fun. On top of not exactly being a walk in the park, it can also be expensive, stressful and an emotional roller coaster for you and your family. Paying for a divorce could end up being one of the most important factors in your entire case. Being able to make sure that you can afford the divorce that you are seeking is among the most critical pieces of information that you can learn about during the entire process. Starting down a road that you cannot afford to continue down is not where you want to find yourself. Plan your divorce, plan the costs, and develop a strategy for meeting the costs head-on. That is a winning strategy no matter what ends up happening in your case.

It makes sense to inquire about whether your spouse can pay your attorney’s fees. After all, it may be the “fault” of your spouse that you are even in this position. You’ve been a faithful and loving partner to your spouse but he or she may have committed adultery, wasted community assets, or engaged in cruel behavior toward you, and your marriage has failed as a result. You didn’t want to file for divorce, after all. Rather, the divorce was thrust upon you due to the actions of your spouse. Now that you are learning what the costs are of a divorce you may want to know what the options are as far as your spouse being able to pay your attorney’s fees.

The answer that a lawyer gives whenever an answer is unclear is it depends. The judge in your case will determine whether your spouse can be ordered to pay your attorney fees if you ask for them to be paid by him or her. This analysis is performed on a case-by-case basis so we would need to know more about your specific circumstances before I can give you an answer on this subject. In a lot of divorce cases, each party pays their attorney. In others, one spouse is ordered to pay all the attorney’s fees.

What is the process involved in asking your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees?

Unless you ask the court to order your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees it won’t happen. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. In your Original Petition for Divorce or Counterpetition, you need to petition the court to have your spouse pay for your attorney’s fees. Make sure that your attorney is aware that you want this to be included in your petition or counterpetition. Most attorneys will include a request for attorney’s fees regardless of if you mention anything to him or her, but to be safe you should make this known to your attorney before the petition is filed. Otherwise, your petition will need to be amended to include the request.

What are the factors that a family court judge will look to when determining whether attorney’s fees should be granted?

Texas is a community property state. This means that at the time of your divorce all property owned by you and your spouse is presumed to be community property and therefore subject to division in your divorce. There are exceptions to this rule but generally speaking the property and debts of your marriage at the time of your divorce are divisible. Included in this rule are attorney’s fees. Your attorney’s fees can be divided between the two of you as a part of your divorce. You can negotiate for that as a part of your divorce settlement, or you can ask the court to order your spouse to have that done.

Property is to be divided in a just and right manner. Fairness counts, in other words. The financial wherewithal of you and your spouse will be of the utmost importance to a judge when it comes to looking at the costs of your case and who can afford to pay what. If you are a stay-at-home spouse with no outside income opportunities, then this will matter. If your spouse is a doctor with oodles of money and a high income then this will matter, as well. Expect that you will have a good chance to have your spouse pay for your attorney’s fees in this case.

Just because a divorce is ongoing does not mean that your bills are going to stop coming in. Rent, mortgage, utilities, school tuition, etc. These responsibilities that are a part of your life will continue to need to be taken care of even after the divorce is filed. This may seem unfair but that is the reality of the situation. With this in mind, adding attorney’s fees on top of this equation can be too much for you to handle if you have no income coming. Your spouse may well have to pay attorney’s fees for both of you in this situation.

How do fault grounds play into how attorney’s fees are divided, if at all?

A relevant question to ask would be whether your spouse’s bad actions will have any impact on how attorney’s fees are divided. We have already discussed fault grounds in terms of how they may impact how costs and other aspects of your divorce are divided as far as property is concerned. Keep in mind that attorney’s fees are usually awarded at the end of a divorce. You can negotiate with your spouse so that attorney’s fees are paid out over time, but you may have a judge order a lump sum to be paid to you at the end of a divorce once you have submitted a bill to him or her. Make sure that you have a detailed billing statement from your attorney but not one that shows the nature of conversations that were discussed or anything else that would violate the privileges associated with the attorney-client relationship.

It is a common practice in divorces for a judge to order both you and your spouse to produce accountings for your attorney’s fees. That way the judge can compare the bills and other costs associated with the divorce to decide if attorney’s fees will need to be divided. If not, then you will need to pay your lawyer any fees that are unpaid at that time or work out a payment plan of some sort with them. However, if you have factors that you believe are favorable to you then you should present those to the judge in your pleadings and then plan to have your attorney’s fees ready for the judge at the end of your case.

If you can’t afford to pay your attorney….

Let’s say that you are going along through your case, and you suddenly discover that you won’t be able to pay your attorney’s fees. For most people, it won’t be a sudden realization that you cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer for their fees. This will probably be a realization that you have before the case begins. You may be lucky enough to have a family member or someone else who will step up to the plate and offer to pay those attorney’s fees for you temporarily until you can pay them back. They may give you some money to pay as a retainer to your spouse until you get an award for attorney’s fees during the divorce case.

You can ask for temporary attorney’s fees in your divorce by filing a motion for interim attorney’s fees. The judge can either hold a hearing on the matter or can simply address your motion and any response from your spouse to determine if interim attorney’s fees will be allowed. The attorney’s fees accrued by both sides as well as your resources will be looked at in depth to determine if attorney’s fees can be paid on an interim basis.

How can you avoid paying attorney’s fees?

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot now. Suppose that your spouse has asked a judge to order you to pay their attorney’s fees. Are there any steps that you can take to avoid being put in a position where you could be ordered to pay for those fees? One step that you can take is to hire your attorney to argue why you should not be made to pay for your spouse’s attorney fees. Simply having your attorney pay for you does not absolve you of having to pay for your spouse’s attorney’s fees. Rather, this is a decision that will be made based on several different factors that we have already discussed in some detail today. However, it is a useful argument to be able to make when you have your lawyer to pay and a tight budget, to begin with.

What you and your attorney can do is present a detailed and accurate rundown of your income, your monthly bills and expenses, and any other costs that exist for you which may limit your ability to pay for your spouse’s attorney fees. Simply not having the money to pay for your spouse’s attorney’s fees may be the best way to avoid having to pay them. Of course, if you are using community income to pay for your attorney’s fees and have drained a jointly held bank account then this would be a factor worth considering if you are a family court judge.

Resources that are available for low-income Texans

If you are going through a divorce and have a very low or no income at all then you may wonder if there are any resources available to you that can assist you in moving your case forward. As luck would have it, yes, there are. From the very beginning of your case, you need to know that there are costs associated with simply filing for divorce. For example, it will cost you money to file an Original Petition for Divorce. If you have a very low income, then you may be able to have your court costs waived by filling out an application to have your fees waived. This is known as a statement of inability to afford the payment of court costs. By filling out the form you can tell a judge that you cannot afford to pay these basic costs associated with your divorce and that you need to have them waived.

Your spouse may also be in a position where he or she can be ordered to help you survive financially at least until the divorce is over. For example, you can ask for temporary spousal support. Temporary spousal support will have your spouse pay you a certain sum of money each month until the divorce is complete. This may not be a large sum of money but likely would be based on your monthly expenses over and above what you can afford to pay based on your income. In your motion for temporary orders, you can ask for temporary spousal support.

Contractual alimony comes at the end of a case when you and your spouse agree that you should be able to receive a certain sum of money for a certain period after your divorce. Contractual alimony would be negotiated using elements of contract law rather than family law. This is important to note because in the future you would not be able to enforce provisions in your divorce decree involving contractual alimony in the same way that you would spousal maintenance. As we are about to see, spousal maintenance is included in the Texas family code and a judge can enforce their orders regarding this subject. However, contractual alimony is different.

In a divorce trial, spousal maintenance can be ordered by a judge if you and your spouse do not agree on contractual alimony. It is difficult to be awarded spousal maintenance in a divorce. A judge can only award spousal maintenance if you or your spouse lack sufficient property after the divorce to be able to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, the spouse who would be paying spousal maintenance would need to have been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a family violence offense against the receiving spouse or child within two years of the divorce having been filed. Or spousal maintenance can be ordered if you or your spouse is unable to earn enough money to meet your minimum reasonable needs due to a disability suffered by you or your child. Finally, the most common circumstance under which spousal maintenance is paid is when you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years and there is a proven financial need for the support.

What kind of financial support can you gain from your spouse immediately? a new paragraph in some instances you may require financial support from your spouse right away. In that case, you can ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order or temporary orders. A temporary restraining order would last for a relatively short period until a hearing can be held, or mediation can allow the two of you to resolve your matter amicably. Once you have temporary orders in place, those orders will typically last until your divorce is over.

Temporary orders in a divorce which involved children can include any orders that are necessary to promote the safety and well-being of your child. Otherwise, temporary orders involving children most typically relate to temporary conservatorship, child support, health insurance, and possession. When it comes to the property in your divorce temporary orders can also determine how property is to be used temporarily, how debts are to be allocated during the case and whether spousal support and attorney’s fees need to be paid. These are essential pieces of information that you need to be very specific about when you ask a court for these items to be paid.

Closing thoughts on attorney’s fees in Texas divorce cases

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance to have your attorney’s fees paid for by your spouse in a divorce, then you need to be prepared. Having an organized budget that can show what your income is versus what your other responsibilities are is extremely important. The better organized and more detailed you can be the better chances you will have to have a judge order attorney’s fee to be paid on either an interim or final basis after your divorce case. Also, if your spouse has an attorney, it would be in your best interest for you to consider hiring one as well. An attorney will not make decisions for you and your case but will help guide you and provide you with context to assist you with making wise decisions based on the law as well as the circumstances of your case.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to look at the circumstances of your case and how the family law of Texas may impact those circumstances.


gray haired happy woman

When You’re Drunk in Love, But You Finally Came to Your Senses…After 30 Years

gray haired happy woman


“In sickness and in health…for richer or poorer…Until death do us part.”

People get married to grow old with each other. During their nuptials, partners exchange marriage vows and speak of a love that lasts forever. You say words full of promises to be there for each other no matter the circumstance. However, it’s not always the case. Couples can decide to part ways even after 30 years into their marriage.

Drunk in Love

Take the case of Bill and Melinda Gates. The couple, married for 27 years, shocked the world when they announced their split. But their separation isn’t special. Divorce after years of marriage is pretty common.

Why does this happen? Is it a trend or a pressing problem with ramifications for both parties? This article will discuss why the overall divorce rate for the older demographic is increasing over time.

What is Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce is also known as a “silver splitter.” It’s a legal separation between two older adults aged 50 and above. These couples have shared long-lasting relationships between 20 to 30 years together. Most involved in these divorce proceedings belong to the baby boomer generation and mostly have gray hairs. Hence, the name gray divorce.

The gray divorce rate going up is not news. It’s been going on for years. A 2012 study documented that marriage dissolution in people aged 50 and older doubled within 10 years. In 2010 alone, 25 percent of divorces belonged to the older age group.

Today, not much has changed. The latest report by the US Census Department highlighted that 34.9 percent of Americans filing for divorce in 2020 were 55 years old and older.

Interestingly, these older adults not only have to deal with financial constraints but also health concerns. Divorcing after years of marriage also means saying goodbye to a longer life. Studies have shown that married individuals have longer life expectancy than unmarried ones.

Three Reasons Why Even Long-Term Marriages End up in Divorce

Long-term marriages go through different stages of learning and relearning about each other. Couples discover new things about each other over the years of being together. In the course of their relationship, they may realize that they have different views on things.

There may also be some instances when problems can get out of hand. In such cases, the best course of action is to go their separate ways. While they grow together, it’s also possible for them to grow apart. Here are three common reasons why gray divorce happens:

Empty Nest Syndrome

As adult children seek an independent life by moving out, most couples find themselves spending more time with only each other. This constant exposure to each other’s presence can highlight the dynamics the couples share.

Married couples tend to focus more on their differences now that they no longer have children to look after. During all the years of marriage, most couples rarely spend time alone.

Going on dates and doing activities without the kids are a rarity. As their children are no longer there to mask marital neglect, the cracks of the marriage become more visible.

When they are in their midlife, couples may realize that both of them have changed. They no longer share the same passions and goals.

Financial Issues

Married couples will have to face several challenges as they work through their marriage. A significant one is financial issues. These monetary problems are more tolerable when both spouses have their sources of income.

However, there may be instances when these financial issues become a significant concern in the marriage. Many couples must rely on their retirement funds when they reach retirement age. Living on a fixed income means they must be more careful about their spending habits.

Financial conflicts can also arise from the so-called spender vs. saver dichotomy. This difference in mindset can cause a rift in the marriage.

For example, a partner stays at home with no income while the other continues to work. The other can feel guilty about not contributing financially. The other may feel more power in the relationship because they’re “providing” familial support.

Financial problems can also stem from addictions, often dragging on in the long-term. In such cases, most couples decide to start the divorce process by consulting a certified divorce financial analyst. This helps determine the appropriate spousal support.


Marital neglect is common in long-term marriages. Some couples become so used to seeing and being with their partners that they take each other for granted. It can result in a lack of romance, making them easily succumb to temptation. While there’s no excuse for cheating on a spouse, some partners may seek what their marriage lacks in other people.

According to psychologists, people cheat because they have emotional issues. They use cheating as a way to deal with aging. Starting an affair makes them believe they are still attractive to someone other than their partners.

Many divorcing couples go through bouts of infidelity several times throughout their marriage until they reach a breaking point. However, using infidelity as grounds for divorce can be tricky. While adultery is illegal in some states, it doesn’t hold weight in divorce proceedings. Talking to a family law attorney may be necessary in order to understand your state’s divorce laws.

Divorce After 30 Years: What to Expect

Starting a new life after a long marriage can be challenging but liberating. There are things you must know. Here are some of them.

Retirement and Divorce

Since gray divorce occurs when you’re in your retirement age, it’s essential to secure your finances, healthcare, and retirement accounts to shield yourself from physical and mental injuries.

Keep in mind that your divorce can impact your retirement plans. Ask your divorce attorney about the division of assets and alimony.

Think about your financial security. If you’re relying on monthly pensions, consider if it will be enough to support your needs. You must also look into your healthcare insurance.

If you’re looking to keep lawyers out of the divorce, it is possible to get divorced without hiring an attorney in some states like Texas. Before deciding whether to proceed with a DIY divorce, make sure to look into your state’s laws and consider the pros and cons.

Changes in Family Dynamics

Divorce means a change in the current family dynamics. Post-divorce, the family traditions that you’ve followed for years will change.

Children will end up choosing sides over trivial and important things. Though not always guaranteed, divorce can split the entire family. For example, children must choose which parent they will spend the holidays with. Ultimately, they may decide not to visit anyone at all. This may cause them to grow apart from you.

Older people divorcing doesn’t mean they won’t remarry. Remarried couples often have to deal with introducing their new relationships to their children.

Gray Divorce Is Not the End of Your Story

Divorcing later in life doesn’t mean that you’ve made a mistake. You got married because it felt right at that time. Several things can happen while you’re together that forces you to make the brave decision of accepting your reality.

Remember, divorce doesn’t mean your story is ending. It is the start of another chapter in your life.

The post When You’re Drunk in Love, But You Finally Came to Your Senses…After 30 Years appeared first on Divorced Moms.



Half Baked Attorneys Bring in Cash to Bribe Judges


‘John Conway (left), Stephen Kennedy (above) and Tom Hogan running underground money laundering oepration to bribe judges with help from Cheri Bell ( right) 

Business  Under the Influence , For Profit 

Divorce attorney Tom Hogan was groomed by John Conway to expand an enterprise  centered around cannabis related  businesses in Santa Clara, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Judges would benefit from shadow investments that poured cash into their pockets and homes. 

San Joaquin County divorce lawyers Diane Butler and Lisa Theissen started a racket with Judge Robin Appel saw  cops and reporters bribed to advance an underground enterprise that operated with the cover of the state’s legal system and the immunity it afforded.  Hogan would expand the racket to Stanislaus and Santa Clara with the help of John Conway and a paralegal- attorney  network operating in family law matters. 

The  network modeled mob activity in and aorund divorce and probate cases. The enterprise  uses paralegals and secretaries from mid and large law firms. Cheri Bell of the Daprile – Bell Family Law Firm brought in women to  handle  accounting and movement of cash drops to cops with Rebekah Frye and Tracey Duell Cazes. These lawyers operated a  shadow economy that raised cash to bribe judges, cops and politicans in order to advance an enterprise flush with cash booze and weed. The money they took from families involved in divorce or probate matters acted as a bonus. 

Tom Hogan reportedly had  an  affair with Rebecca Fleming , the new Santa Clara Court clerk and CEO . That affair paid off as Hogan handled judge investment money as an off shoot of John Conway’s  alcohol business. Conway, while handling a divorce case connected to a client with  a busienss partner in the Santa Cruz O’ Neil surf brand, gave the lawyers an “in” to surf, sea and weed related businesses in exchange for favorable court orders and judgments for his family law clients. Conway wanted to be a judge and worked overtime on judge shadow investments to get the job. 

Conway worked with Stephen Kennedy, a known fan of the lettuce leaf and profits he could demand from his family law clients and partnership with Nicole Myers. 

According to recordings of secret judge investment meetings, Hogan was to handle the San Joaquin Valley business. John Conway would handle the busienss in San Jose and on the coast. Kennedy would be a runner, with the added  link to the Santa Clara DA’s office.  Hogan had corruption sewn up in Stanislaus. They would own bars and dispensaries and would get discounts in the local newspaper. They women backed them up by handling   handle judge investments, where they eventually hooked into  drug money and clients  in San Joaquin County.  

According to papers handled by family law and bankrupcy attorney Elise Mitchell, Conway wanted to be a judge. However, it was determined he was  more valuable handling judge investments.  Money moved through spouses and children to avoid detection from the IRS. Conway had clients who ran large scale dispensaries  generated cash that could be laundered by purchasing cash cards, cryptocurrency and paying off second mortages on the homes of judges and their family members. 

Conway reportedly had help from an  insider in the California Attorney General’s Office , Troy Overton, whose wife was a judge. Overton played lookout in the AG’s office when complaints were lodged. Troy Overton  could pressure rival businesses that diluted profits.

Hogan had help from Alan Cassidy   who is now a family law judge with the Modesto Police in on the operation.