When a narcissist replaces you, it may be so excruciatingly painful that you feel like you’re going to die.
You may wonder, “Are they in love?”
And, “Is it possible for them to have a successful relationship together?”
This Thriver TV episode will grant you some much-needed relief, truth, and perspective about all of this as you discover the real truth of how a narcissist will treat the new supply.
It is so painful, initially, to be replaced.
It may even be so painful that you feel like you are dying. I promise you I understand, I’ve been there!
And, of course, you may be agonising wondering how the narcissist is treating the new Supply. Are they happy as a couple? Is there a possibility that this relationship can really work?
I’m going to answer these questions and many more in today’s Thriver TV episode.
But before I do, I’d like to thank you if you have subscribed to my channel for supporting the Thriver Mission. If you haven’t yet subscribed, please do. And if you enjoy this video please remember to click the like button.
Alright, let’s dive into today’s episode.
The Honeymoon Period
Narcissists love bomb.
In the pursuit of narcissistic supply, narcissists are over the top. They get off on exclamations of desire, piling on the compliments, and incredible gestures of care and gifts.
From the outside, it can appear to be about “love” or even “infatuation”. Infatuation is definitely a lot closer to the mark than love, yet the reason why narcissists go after new Supply so convincingly is not at all romantic.
It’s purely about securing an object to self-medicate with.
I know that this can be a bitter pill to swallow, yet it’s very helpful to understand the truth of what our relationship with the narcissist was, to not have any envy about their future relationship(s).
It’s not personal – the way that narcissists objectify people as a source of supply. It’s not because these people are unlovable, rather it is because the narcissist is not capable of genuine love.
Genuine love is not about securing people as a supply source to be used. Genuine love, from one healthy adult to another, is about sharing power and love and granting care, affection and love without an agenda.
As beautiful and attentive and caring as the narcissist appears to be, there is a deep, dark agenda attached, which is, “you are being groomed so that I can secure you in order to prop up my False Self and help me survive my inner gnawing emptiness. You mean no more than this.”
Yes, things can look incredible between a new loved-up narcissistic couple on social media, and even from what you hear via other people. And the narcissist may cruelly tell you how in love they are with this new person.
But it will only be for a certain period of time.
Many people like to keep up pretences. Certainly, narcissists live within fictitious scripts, and even partners of narcissists are usually in denial of how things have switched and become so awful. They were so convinced and convincing of others that this person was their “soul-mate” that it becomes hugely shameful to admit that this is not the case.
Before you go through your Thriver Healing journey, you may stalk the two of them on social media, or ask other people about them, trying to find out if their relationship is working or if the cracks have appeared.
I want you to know from the bottom of my heart the following: there is no salvation or healing in this pursuit.
It is complete and utter Wrong Town, that will keep you stuck in the trauma and won’t allow you to be released from it.
The irony is, no physical or logical evidence is going to give you relief from this. The only relief that comes is from your healing within yourself, to find, release and reprogram the original wounds within you that have been keeping you trauma bonded to the narcissist.
It’s also really important to find and release and reprogram the extreme trauma that goes with being replaced.
One day, this is exactly the path the new Supply will need to take for his or her own healing. Because this person is extremely likely to be discarded and replaced just as you were.
It’s quite incredible, how in this community, there have been Thrivers narcissistically abused by the same narcissist, who are now wonderful friends within the community healing with NARP!
The Fall From Grace
This is how it goes with all narcissists and their new partners – the initial honeymoon period of love bombing idealisation starts to crack.
You see, at the beginning, the narcissist childishly declares that this person is the “best thing since sliced bread”. He or she to the narcissist is the shiniest, most incredible new Supply. This feeds the narcissist’s ego monstrously, granting them a massive hit of narcissistic supply.
But this is not based in reality. Sooner or later this person is not going to fulfil the narcissist’s insecure ego continually. When the high levels of initial narcissistic supply start to decrease, the narcissist will start feeling the familiar feelings of inner anxiety and rage again.
Narcissists always project these self-annihilating inner feelings onto somebody else and make them that person’s fault. Intimate love partners are common targets. They are also easy targets when the narcissist has secured this person as narcissistic supply. We hang around for the abuse.
So, just as it happened to you, the new partner is going to start becoming terribly confused and shocked when this previously “perfect” and “adorable” person starts to get sullen, moody and even inappropriate with their behaviour and comments.
This is the beginning of the devaluing cycle. And, as soon as the new partner starts to question it, not bow to it, and no longer grants the compliments, admiration, sex or adoration that they previously were supplying, the “iffy” comments will escalate to becoming more severe and devastating, and even lead into the discard phase.
The narcissist may say that he or she is having second thoughts. Or withdraw the commitment. Or choose some other action, display or tactic to create incredible fear and confusion for the new source of supply.
The narcissist may even decide to punish the new Supply by trying to hook up with you, the old Supply, and create a horrible triangulation situation.
All of this is incredibly common. In fact, it is usual for narcissists to do this. Don’t take it as a compliment if he or she hasn’t done this. It’s certainly not a compliment to be treated as an object for somebody’s self-serving soulless agendas, just as it is not a compliment to be used as a punishment tool against somebody else at whim, only to be discarded again.
The Cycle of Violence
Drama is what narcissistic relationships are all about.
The more compliant and gentle the new supply is, the less drama will be visible to all. However, the drama will still take place. The more triggered and reactionary the new Supply is, the more the cracks will be apparent, and the relationship is likely to go through many breakups as well as many episodes of reuniting.
That is until the new Supply is completely clear and free of any desire or compulsion to reconnect with the narcissist, or the narcissist has mined them to the point of complete brokenness and decided that there is nothing more to gain.
The same goes for all narcissistic relationships.
Even if the partner is quiet and compliant and keeping the home fires burning while the narcissist is being a narcissist, which means being selfish, loose, unaccountable and reckless, the narcissist is still likely to take them through the cycles of idealisation, devalue and discard.
Idealisation happens when the new Supply is leaving or has had enough, and the narcissist needs to hoover him or her back into the relationship to retain narcissistic supply. Such as for the convenience of what this person does for them – providing the veneer of the perfect life or to keep paying the bills and mopping up the messes, etc.
Or, the narcissist is charming them in order to manipulate them into handing something over.
Further into the relationship, the devaluing happens virtually at all other times, when not needing to idealise. This is because the narcissist is constantly suffering the horrific inner emotional traumas regarding themselves, needing to project them onto the new Supply.
Then the discarding happens to punish the new Supply for not appeasing the False Self adequately (which of course is impossible to do).
The discarding could even be done on the side, allowing the narcissist to feel vindicated for being treated “so badly”, by taking lovers, prostitutes, or seeking sexual supply from past partners or even friends of the new Supply.
The new Supply may know nothing about this.
And, to the outside world, all may seem well.
Unless you are living within the four walls of their homes, you really have no idea how other people’s lives are actually going.
Your Healing In All of This
You may be focusing much of your energy on what is going on between the narcissist and the new Supply. I understand this. Before my Thriver Healing journey I did this myself.
The trauma from this is horrific. If you are honest with yourself you know how rank this feels in your body. You know how much this is draining your life force and making it almost impossible for you to function.
When the traumas in your body are screaming at you, they’re telling you that you are adding to them and not healing them.
I promise you this … when you let go, and take on your healing journey with NARP, you will start to emerge from this with incredible relief and know there is nothing here to envy.
No money, lifestyle or even privileges are worth anyone’s soul being desecrated.
The love that you thought you should have received, that possibly this person is now getting from the narcissist, does not exist!
There is nothing real to gain or have!
And please know, you are further along your evolutionary path than the new Supply. You are in the prime position to turn inwards and heal, so that you can claim your True Self and True Life.
The new Supply still has to wait for this relationship to finally blow up into pieces that simply cannot be put back together, or to drag themselves out of there shaking and quaking and barely alive.
Or, they stay, and get their soul sucked out of them.
The best thing you can do for you, and for all people who have been through narcissistic abuse, is to claim your healing, and become a shining force of inspiration for those who are still stuck, if they seek you out.
Which is exactly what myself and other Thrivers in this community do.
I hope that this has helped and inspired you to heal for real from this.
If this video has helped grant you relief, I’d love to hear from you about how it has helped, by pausing this video and writing to me below.
So, if you have had enough of the agony of wondering about the narcissist and the new Supply and going through the crippling feelings of that, it could be time for you to start healing with NARP.
I really hope that this video has given you the hope that there is a way to get out of this trauma.
So, if you enjoyed this video, please hit the like button. And remember to share it with people who you know are terrorised by the narcissist moving on to a new partner.
And, as always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.
Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.
Many people are under the impression that filing first in a divorce will put you at an advantage over your spouse. This is generally not true but there are some reasons a person should consider when pushing to be the first to file in a divorce.
The first person to file a divorce in the state of Texas is known as the petitioner. The opposing party is known as the respondent. This petitioner’s name will be stated first in the case style on all pleadings that are filed in the case and will be the first party to present their arguments at any hearings or at trial.
Being the party to file the initial suit means the petitioner can have an option at deciding what county to file in. If both parties are residents of different counties, it may matter to a person that they file in the county where they currently reside. This can be for many reasons, a big one being convenience. Especially for parties that are domiciled out-of-state, it can be urgent that you file your suit first. This would ease you from having the inconvenience of having to travel, and instead require the other party travel to the county where you have filed the suit.
Of course, this does not give the petitioner any county as an option as they must meet the residency requirements to be able to file in any county. For example, in order to file within Harris County a person must be (1) domiciled in the State of Texas for at least six months, and more specifically, (2) have resided in Harris County for at least 90 days prior to filing a petition for divorce. Only one party needs to meet these requirements, meaning that even if you do not meet these requirements you can still file within that county if your spouse does.
However, a court would still need to be able to exercise personal jurisdiction over a respondent if the petitioner meets the residency requirements. This means they will need to have the authority to require the out-of-state party to subject themselves to the laws of the state and court. Simply stated, personal jurisdiction is the court’s power over the parties to a lawsuit. Personal jurisdiction is typically granted to a court over an out-of-state respondent through a long arm statute. The two main types of long arm statutes that pertain to a divorce would be divorce jurisdiction and parent-child jurisdiction if there are children involved in the marriage. All statutes in relation can be found within the Texas Family Code, Section 6.305.
Another thing to consider when filing first, is that the Petitioner is responsible for paying the initial filing fee. This fee can range anywhere from $300 to $400 depending on what county the lawsuit is filed, and if there are children involved. As a respondent, the only pleading required would be an answer which is mainly free, but at most can cost a few dollars. If you are wanting to countersue the petitioner for divorce, the respondent would need to file a counterpetition which can range from $50 to $100. In short, the initial filing will incur more costs. This as well does not include the fees a petitioner will have to bear by requesting a citation and hiring a process server to serve the respondent. This too can be costly, especially if the respondent’s whereabouts are unknown. These fees are something a person should keep in mind if they are insisting on filing first in a divorce.
A petitioner can have the upper hand in a divorce because they are able to set the tone of the divorce. This means they will have to decide whether they want to plead fault or no fault in the original petition. However, pleadings can be amended and changed by either party after the initial filing. Most people however will aim for an amicable divorce where no-fault has been plead, but they can always amend later if they want to include any at fault grounds for the divorce.
Along with the original petition for divorce, it is not uncommon for a petitioner to file a request for temporary orders along with the petition. They are often requested in the initial pleading, and their purpose is to put restrictions on how the parties should behave during the divorce proceeding. These can include visitation rights, conservatorship of the children, child support, who will have access to the marital home, bills, etc. A petitioner can have the advantage here because they will have more time to prepare for the hearing versus the respondent. A petitioner can also ask for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which can help prevent the other party from hiding assets. A TRO is binding on your spouse and can help deter these behaviors. A petitioner has the advantage to prepare for both a temporary order hearing and a temporary restraining order.
Most family and divorce law cases will not make it to trial, this is because most cases will settle in mediation before the case goes to trial. While it is the most cost-efficient method to settle outside of court, there are a small percentage of cases that do end up in a trial. If you are a petitioner in a case this can have a significant impact on what trial strategy is used. A petitioner gets to present their case before the judge first, to which a respondent will have to counter-argue and put on their case second.
If you are unable to file first in a divorce proceeding, a person should not worry too much because you will still be able to fully present your case in the divorce process. You have the right to counterpetition and present your arguments before the court. However, if you are persistent in filing first you should keep in mind the advantages you will be entitled to in preparing your case against the respondent. Also, you should be aware of the cost you will incur with the initial process of filing and service of process.
Narcissistic abuse is mind and soul bending and many people are shocked at how hard it is to recover and reclaim your mind, body and life.
Obsessive thoughts can continually haunt them so they feel like they have been taken over by a hideous emotional virus.
In today’s Thriver TV episode, I explain how this happened, as well as how to take your power back to not only emerge from this as healed, whole and vibrant …
But also, completely inoculated against this ever happening to you again in the future.
Narcissistic abuse is mind and soul bending.
Being hit by a narcissist is akin to being hit by a freight train. So many people are shocked to discover that they simply cannot get up off the ground and just get on with life anymore.
I know that is likely to have been your experience as well.
And, it is terrifying how much your brain feels scrambled.
The obsessive thoughts continually haunt you and you feel like you have been infected with a hideous emotional virus that literally takes over your nervous system and ability to function.
In addition to this, so many areas of your life may be under siege and falling apart.
Narcissists commonly destroy people’s lives and literally rip them to pieces emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. The effects of this also impact everyone and everything that is dear to you.
This is a total breakdown experience that no one could even begin to imagine unless they have been through it themselves.
Alright, so before we delve deeper into exactly how narcissists destroy your life, as well as how you can recover from this, I want to thank all of you for supporting my Thriver Mission.
And, if you haven’t yet subscribed I’d like to remind you to please do. Also, please give this episode a thumbs up if you enjoy it.
Now let’s go deeper with this information today.
How Do Narcissists Get In?
Narcissists are highly skilled at infiltrating your mind, emotions, soul and life.
How do they do this?
I really hope that you are ready to hear this with openness and the desire to heal from narcissistic abuse for real. Because the truth really does set us free, when we accept it.
100% I validate that narcissists are predators who are on the lookout for sources of supply, meaning they are after what they can take from people. And it is shocking what they do. Yet, it is a fallacy that a narcissist can abuse just anybody.
As was the case in my life, and so many others, we did not, as yet, have a solid enough Inner Identity to have powerful boundary function. Meaning the ability to trust ourselves, speak up, say no when necessary, and be emotionally whole and powerful enough to do the necessary due diligence before letting somebody into our life.
This provided a way in. It was a crack in our integrity of self. Narcissists are skilled at identifying where your boundaries aren’t solid and capitalising on this.
This is how narcissists do this – they sum you up and they fact find. They know how to discover what it is that you feel still hurts in your life, what is missing, or whatever it is that you believe you can’t generate for yourself.
Now, all the narcissist has to do is position themselves as the granter or saviour of this “missing piece”. Then we feel like we can trust them. Then we even feel like we need them. We may even feel like this is the person we’ve been waiting for our entire life.
This creates a powerful chemical connection to this person.
This is one of the most confronting things that I had to face myself. Yet, it was what finally emancipated me from not just the trauma of my abuse symptoms but granted me the confidence and power to know I would never allow abuse in the future.
What were my susceptibilities, fears and insecurities that made me a prime target for narcissists, and allowed them to get in through my boundary gaps?
The following … I was too trusting of people. I didn’t do my necessary due diligence to firmly ascertain their true character before letting them into my heart, bed, body, businesses and finances.
I was scared of backing my inner warning bells and having the difficult conversations that meant that I might be susceptible to people reacting to my questioning, or boundaries, or rights, meaning that they could reject, abandon or punish me for speaking up.
So many people who have been soul penetrated by narcissists have also carried the fears of C.R.A.P.
I am certainly not alone!
The members of this community, who have become successful Thrivers, have also done their inner inventory and devoted the time and effort to heal up those parts of themselves, like my own, that made them highly susceptible to unscrupulous people who did not have their best interests at heart.
A dear friend of mine, Cheryl, also suffered some “gaps” that narcissists were able to slip into her life through. Because she didn’t believe she could be safe and uphold boundaries on her own, unconsciously (like so many of us) she wanted somebody big, strong and assertive to do that for her.
As a result, the people who came into her life, were not a rock for her, they turned out to be a hammer instead.
These people were not relieving Cheryl of her inner insecurities, rather they brought her the evidence of them.
It’s so important to understand that this doesn’t mean Cheryl was blaming and shaming herself for being abused, just as she wasn’t excusing narcissistic behaviour.
Rather it granted her the true solution!
By realising this susceptibility, this granted her the personal power to heal these parts of herself to stop handing power over to people who were hurting her. After healing these parts, Cheryl discovered that she no longer felt any attachment or a need to try to change these people, so that they would love and care for her.
Rather, she felt a complete disconnect from them, and absolutely no desire to be with them anymore.
Thus, breaking free into a completely different love and relationship trajectory.
Cheryl is now in a relationship with a beautiful man, who reflects back to her the care, love and power that she has now been able to take full responsibility for and establish within herself. By becoming her own rock, she received the matching partner.
We may not have realised the following, because it has been our “normal” – that we may have unconsciously been trying to get somebody to love us to take away the pain.
Yet, as a match for our unhealed Inner Being, they were only ever going to supply more of the same pain.
This is what narcissists do.
How We Have Been Programmed to Be Exploited
The sensible, healthy adult thing is to do what Cheryl did, heal oneself up in order to achieve the healthy outcome – taking your time to get to know people before committing your emotions, soul and resources to them.
Sadly, so many of us have been indoctrinated into the “fairy tale illusion”. We have been conditioned to be emotionally reckless; believing that getting caught up in the moment is the right thing to do.
I often jokingly say that I used to put more effort into choosing a pair of shoes than a love relationship.
In many ways, this was true and very frightening!
I was incredibly susceptible to love bombing and someone purporting to be the provider of what I wanted. If a potential partner was tall, charismatic, and intelligent and seemed to empathise with me feeling unseen, unheard and unsafe, then I really used to believe that I’d hit the jackpot!
We believe in love at first sight! We believe in an instant bond with our soulmate!
But what we may not realise is these deep chemical attractions can be a deep inner part of us desiring the resolution of our childhood wounds. The wanting of our mother or father to do it differently than what they did.
Here is the grand dichotomy in all of this – the person who appears in our life, who we feel chemically bonded to, is offering the promise of taking away the pain of our unresolved childhood wounds. Yet, as it turns out, they end up being the person who delivers an even more severe level of the trauma of our childhood wounds.
At first, we are not initially awakened enough to realise what is really going on, and why we are experiencing such a powerful chemical hit and attraction. Generally, we simply fall straight into this relationship, because it feels so “right”.
Plus, people in your life are telling you to get out there and meet somebody new. You may feel the stigma of being un-partnered or unmarried. Maybe you feel like your biological clock is ticking away and you need to find somebody to settle down with to start a family.
Or maybe you have seen your ex-partner move on quickly and feel the desperate injustice that you haven’t been able to yet.
It is only conscious and evolving people who will tell you the truth. A healing hiatus is needed with yourself, to change your inner love code and the relationship patterns that have been playing out, so that you can go forward into life experiencing a completely different reality.
And what it takes is this: to become at one, whole and fulfilled within yourself first.
Sadly, our programming has always kept us separated from the taking back of our power with radical personal responsibility, to get out of this terrible pattern.
Rather, we have been programmed to be victims and blame people who have hurt us, and then try to change them so that they can love us healthily.
And, we can jump up and down and exclaim that it is disgusting that people behave like this. But in no way does this allow us to heal and get better and get out of these patterns. All it does is further entrench us in them.
And when it doesn’t work, we may try to find somebody else to take the pain away. And then discover that often we are falling into the same pattern and meeting the same person, just with a different face.
If you are sick and tired of these quick fixes which don’t provide durable happiness, you may be ready to understand that only one truth will suffice. You must turn inwards to heal your relationship with yourself, and only you can do that.
One of the benefits of narcissistic relationships, as brutal as they are, is that they bring us to our knees to realise this. And this is where personal catharsis can begin.
The real truth is, as adults we are responsible for our own boundaries, it is not anybody else’s job. We are not children anymore. If we hand our power away and blindly expect somebody else to look after our well-being, emotions, boundaries and life-force, then we are highly susceptible to being not just taken advantage of, but also horribly abused and even desecrated.
Such is the case with narcissistic abuse.
How The Damage Deepens
Because the narcissist purports to be the person who will finally love us like no other and grants us our wholeness, this creates a powerful and quick bond.
Sooner or later the mask will drop. The mirage can’t continue, and the narcissistic behaviour starts to appear.
Far from being the saviour of our deficiencies, insecurities or things in our life that we feel like we can’t generate for ourselves, the narcissist now switches and starts attacking these things.
So, the person who was loving, romantic and truly was seeing you and being there for you, now starts emotionally and literally criticising, rejecting, abandoning and punishing you.
He or she will start messing with your head and emotions and start sucking resources from your life. The entitlement becomes apparent; the relationship becomes less about you and so much more about what the narcissist is or isn’t getting.
By remaining attached, you will be trauma bonded beyond description, fighting with insanity trying to get sanity, safety and comfort. Yet, every time you try to force the narcissist to be healthy, they will line you up and damage you even more ferociously.
Now you’re on a sinking ship, trying to salvage what you can, whilst the toxic levels of trauma and stress in your being reach a critical mass, breaking down your nervous system health, sanity and emotional structures until you literally feel like you are crumbling.
Your capacity to be able to deal with virtually anything becomes severely diminished.
Narcissistic abuse, before awakening to the truth, is a one-way trip to your personal demise, on so many levels and can even become extremely dangerous for you personally, as well as seriously impacting those you love.
What is the lesson in this?
At the Quantum Truth level, the message is clear – “Let go and heal”, that’s what this soul contract was always about.
How To Reverse This
There is no way you can engage with a narcissist and get relief and emancipation from this.
True evolution from this is an inside job.
The narcissist is not your solution. You are, and this requires detaching, facing and doing the necessary healing within yourself.
This is a make or break deal.
If you really get this now and understand, please pause this video and write below, “I’m turning inwards to become my own true saviour now!”
This is vital, because the breakdown either continues and increases, or the breakdown transforms into an incredible breakthrough of personal evolution – where you can heal and claim your true essence which is: self-love, self-worth and the sanctity of your own soul, emotions and life.
I hope that this has helped you understand how the narcissist has, or does, rip your life apart, and has started to grant you the hope that there is a true solution to get up and out of this.
I really want you to know that there is a definitive way to heal and release yourself from all of the symptoms of narcissistic abuse, as well as never being susceptible to having your soul, heart and life torn to pieces again.
It is such a beautiful feeling when you realise that you have made it through to this level!
I can’t wait to help you get there!
I can’t recommend enough that you do this!
Because in this free event you will learn about the exact step-by-step process, which has proven successful for thousands of people from over 120 different countries, to help you make a full Thriver Recovery too.
And, if you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up and please know that if you subscribe to my channel, you will be automatically notified when my two new episodes are released each week.
And as always, I look forward to your comments and questions below.
Originally published by John McFarland.
Last April the Fort Worth Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Bluestone Natural Resources II, LLC v. Randle, No. 02-18-00271-CV, 2019 WL 1716415. The Court decided that, under Randle’s lease, Bluestone could not deduct post-production costs and owed royalty on plant fuel and compressor fuel. Bluestone has petitioned the Supreme Court for review and the Court has asked for briefs on the merits.
Randle’s lease was a printed form with an exhibit. The printed form provided that royalties on gas would be “the market value at the well of one-eighth of the gas so sold or used …” Exhibit A provided that “the language on this Exhibit A supersedes any provisions to the contrary in the printed lease hereof.” One provision in Exhibit A dealt with post-production costs:
Lessee agrees that all royalties accruing under this Lease (including those paid in kind) shall be without deduction, directly or indirectly, for the cost of producing, gathering, storing, separating, treating, dehydrating, compressing, processing, transporting, and otherwise making the oil, gas and other products hereunder ready for sale or use. Lessee agrees to compute and pay royalties on the gross value received, including any reimbursements for severance taxes and production related costs.
The trial court held that Bluestone could not deduct post-production costs, and the Fort Worth Court of Appeals agreed. The Court distinguished Heritage Resources v. NationsBank, 929 S.W.2d 118 (Tex. 1996) and held that the no-deduction clause in the lease’s exhibit modified the royalty clause – in particular, the second sentence of that clause. The second sentence, not present in Heritage, provided an alternate measure of value for royalties – “gross value received” rather than “market value at the well” – and “gross value received” means proceeds prior to deduction of post-production costs. This part of Exhibit A conflicts with the printed royalty clause and so must supersede that clause.
Bluestone argued that the second sentence in the Exhibit A provision did not establish an alternate “valuation point” for the royalty, so the valuation point must still be “at the well” as provided in the printed form. The Court disagreed:
[Bluestone] argues that once an “at the well” measure is baked into the royalty provision, it requires super clarity in any provision that attempts to alter its effect. We construe this argument to mean that once a royalty provides an “at the well” point of valuation, a lease can alter that scheme of valuation only by clearly altering its terms to provide a different point of valuation, such as by striking the words “at the well” when they appear in a lease. …
We do not see how we would be giving Exhibit A its controlling role if we were to cut and past the words “at the well” from Paragraph 3 of the Printed Lease into Paragraph 26 of Exhibit A. In fact, that approach would seem to take exactly the opposite approach mandated by the superseding provision in Exhibit A; we would be resolving the conflict by giving superseding effect to the terms of the Printed Lease. …
In essence, Appellant’s position boils down to the argument that once it appears, the “at the well” measure is so “baked into” the royalty calculation that it has to be physically removed by going to the length of actually striking those words wherever they appear.
The Court noted that the Supreme Court has recognized that “a proceeds measure–not tied to particular point of sale–creates a measure that does not allow the lessor to net-back its post-production costs,” citing Judice v. Mewbourne Oil Co., 929 S.W.2d 133, 136 (Tex. 1996): Burlington Res. Oil & Gas Co. LP v. Texas Crude Energy, LLC, 2019 WL 983789 at 5; Chesapeake Expl. LLC v. Hyder, 483 S.W.3d 70, 873 (Tex. 2016); and Heritage Res., 939 S.W.2d at 130.
The Court noted that its conclusion may be contrary to that of the El Paso Court of Appeals in Commissioner v. SandRidge, 454 S.W.3d 603 (Ct.App.-El Paso 2014, no pet.), which construed very similar language to allow deduction of post-production costs.
The Court also held that Bluestone had to pay royalty on plant fuel and compressor fuel. Plant fuel was gas produced from the leased premises and burned in the gas plant that processed the lessee’s gas. The compressor fuel was a commingled gas stream that included gas produced from the lease and other leases and was sent to compressors on Plaintiff’s lease and other leases to compress gas produced from the leases. The lease provides that “Lessee shall have free from royalty or other payment the use of … gas … produced from said land in all operations which Lessee may conduct hereunder .. and the royalty … shall be computed after any so used.” The Court held that this provision applied only on gas used on the leased premises. “Hereunder means “under or in accordance with this writing or document.” Plant fuel was not used to operate the lease or produce oil or gas from the lease, but to process gas in the third-party gas plant.
The Court also reasoned that the lease required payment of royalty on “gross value received” from the production; that the lessee received value from the processo in exchange for free use of the gas as fuel; and that Bluestone owed royalties on that value.1
The Court recognized that some of the gas produced from Plaintiff’s lease was used in compressors on the lease and therefor would be covered by the “free from royalty” clause. But the Court held that, because the lessee commingled gas from the lease with other gas, it had a duty to account for the aliquot share of the gas that is burned in compressors on the lease, citing Humble v. West, 508 S.W.2d 812 (Tex. 1974), and had failed to do so, and so was obligated to pay royalty on all production from the lease used as compressor fuel.
Originally published by Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
By Minh N. Vu
We are still tallying up the end-of-year numbers, but the number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal courts by the end of November 2019 (10,206) exceeded the number of such lawsuits filed in all of 2018 (10,163). California courts continue to be the busiest with roughly 43% of the lawsuits, with New York and Florida courts taking second and third place with 24% and 18% of the market share, respectively. With plaintiffs and their lawyers constantly conjuring up new claims, businesses are not likely to see any relief from these types of suits in 2020.
What types of lawsuits are trending now?
Braille Gift Card Lawsuits. Starting in October of 2019, more than a dozen blind plaintiffs represented by five attorneys have filed at least 243 lawsuits in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York alleging that retailers and other businesses have violated the ADA and New York state and city laws by failing to offer for sale gift cards that have all the information printed on the cards shown in Braille. These cases are assigned to at least twenty-nine different judges. A firm in southern California has also jumped on the bandwagon, filing Braille gift card lawsuits in California state court and sending out a number of pre-suit demand letters. Most defendants are digging in for a fight so we expect to see many motions to dismiss filed in the first quarter of 2020.
Website and Mobile App Accessibility Lawsuits. Although we are still tallying the numbers, lawsuits alleging inaccessible websites and mobile apps accounted for at least a fifth of the total number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal courts in 2019. Most plaintiffs in these cases are blind and claim that the websites in question do not work with their screen reader software which reads website content aloud. A much smaller number of plaintiffs are deaf and are suing about the lack of closed captioning for online videos.
Plaintiffs continue to file these website and mobile app accessibility lawsuits, though the rate at which they were being filed seemed to slow down in the fourth quarter of 2020. The change may be attributable to the fact that some of the lawyers who were filing many of these website accessibility suits in New York have turned their attention to Braille gift card lawsuits.
The big news from 2019 on the website accessibility front was the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Domino’s appeal from a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowing a blind plaintiff to pursue his lawsuit against the pizza chain for having an allegedly inaccessible website and mobile app. Businesses had hoped that the Supreme Court would hear the case and perhaps take some action to curtail the tsunami of website and mobile app lawsuits.
In 2019, Plaintiffs also made significant headway in persuading California state courts that inaccessible websites violate the state’s non-discrimination statute, including one appellate affirmation of a judgment in favor of blind plaintiff. In fact, one California Superior Court judge decided that the ADA applies to websites of businesses with no physical location where customers go. In reaching this conclusion, this California judge rejected federal Ninth Circuit precedent that the ADA only applies to websites of public accommodations with a nexus to a physical location.
Hotel Accessibility Information on Reservations Websites. A number of plaintiffs filed lawsuits against hotels for allegedly failing to provide sufficient information about the accessibility of their accessible guest rooms and common areas on their websites, as required by the ADA Title III regulations, to allow travelers with disabilities to make informed decisions about whether a hotel meets their needs. In response to this flurry of lawsuits, many hotels have updated their websites to provide the required information. Now some plaintiffs are filing lawsuits alleging that hotels are not making accessible rooms available for sale on websites operated by third party online travel agencies.
Accessible Hotel Room Dispersion. Title III of the ADA requires hotels to provide accessible rooms in a range of different room types (e.g. rooms with two beds, premium views, suites) so that people with disabilities have room choices that are comparable to those offered to people without disabilities. One plaintiff in particular has filed more than a hundred lawsuits under this theory, and we have no reason to think she will stop in 2020.
Inaccessible Facilities. Historically the most prolific category for accessibility lawsuits, we have continued to see in the lawsuit filing numbers and in our practice many lawsuits about allegedly inaccessible physical public accommodations facilities such as hotels, retail stores, restaurants, and shopping centers in 2019. We do not expect this to change in 2020.
Be sure to subscribe to our ADA blog to receive notices of developments throughout the year!
Edited by Kristina Launey
Originally published by Tiffany Dowell.
A recent case involving a will devising “personal effects” to a family member is a good reminder of the need to be detailed and complete when drafting a will, and the importance of residuary clauses.
In 1990, Mildred Ethridge drafted a will that included the following provisions:
I, MILDRED L. ETHRIDGE, (femme sole) of Midland County, Texas, for the purpose of the distribution of my entire estate, real, personal and mixed, which I wish to have take effect at my death, do make, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, and I do hereby revoke all former wills and testamentaries heretofore made by me at any time.
I hereby appoint and name Fred D. Davis, Jr. as Independent Executor and trustee of my estate, to serve without bond. I give Fred D. Davis, Jr. all my personal effects to clear my estate after my death.
I give and bequeath my 1/2 ownership in my residence and homestead…to Patricia Petosky.
Mildred passed away in 1994. Prior to her death, she gifted her 1/2 ownership interest in the homestead to someone else, leaving Davis as the only named party under the will. Davis was named executor of her estate.
At her death, Mildred had money in checking accounts and miscellaneous property including furniture and a television. She also had mineral interests that were not specifically devised in her will or included in the inventory submitted to probate. The mineral lessee began paying royalties to Mildred’s estate and Davis opened a checking account to receive these royalties. Believing he was entitled to her entire estate, he transferred the royalty payments from the estate’s checking account into his personal account.
In 2010, Mildred’s heirs discovered they may have been entitled to royalties under her estate. They argued that the mineral interests did not pass under her will. At trial, the court had to construe the meaning of the term “personal effects.” The court held that this term as more limited than “personal property” and rule that it included only the furniture and television owned by Mildred, but did not include her bank accounts, receivables, and interest in oil, gas, other minerals, royalties, real property, or other personal property. As to these assets, the court held she died intestate and the intestate succession laws should govern distribution.
Davis appealed the court’s decision regarding the definition of “personal effects.” The Eastland Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. [Read full opinion here.]
The court noted that, when interpreting a will, a court seeks to ascertain the intent of the testator based on the language included in the will itself. Terms used in a will are to be given their “plain, ordinary, and generally accepted meaning” unless the will shows they were used in a technical or different sense.
First, Davis argued that the initial clause in her will stated that her intent was to dispose of her entire estate, real, personal, and mixed. It was her intent, Davis argued, to divide her property into two categories–the 1/2 interest in the Oxford House, and then everything else, which she referred to as “personal effects.” Davis argues the court should broadly interpret the phrase “personal effects” because Mildred was not an attorney and her will was not drafted by an attorney.
The court rejected this argument. Under the law, the term “personal effects” generally refers “to articles bearing intimate relation or association to the person of the testator” such as clothing, jewelry, toiletries, glasses, dentures, and luggage. Mineral interests do not fall within the scope of “personal effects.” Further, Mildred indicated she intended to dispose of her entire estate, real, personal and mixed. By stating she left only her “personal effects” to Davis, it appears she did not intend for that to include her real property as well.
In light of this, Mildred’s will did not dispose of her entire estate. When a person drafts a will, there is a presumption that he or she intends to dispose of the entire estate. That presumption is strong, noted the court, but can be overcome in situations where the testator fails to provide for complete distribution of property. In that situation, the testator is found to have died intestate as to the property not included in the will. In this scenario, the court upheld the finding that Mildred died intestate as to her mineral and royalty interests and her bank accounts.
Thus, the court affirmed. Davis was entitled only to the furniture and television, while the bank accounts, mineral interest, and royalty interests passed through intestacy.
First, I think the most important reminder from this case is the need for including a residuary clause in a will. Even the most carefully drafted will may omit certain assets. Whether that be something the testator simply forgot, something purchased after a will was drafted, or something that the testator thought was covered by the will that simply was not, this can certainly happen. One way to avoid the issue here, where a portion of the estate passed outside the will via intestate succession, is to ensure that a will has a residuary clause. This clause simply disposes of any estate assets that remain after all of the other devises in the will have been made. In this case, for example, had there been a residuary clause, the bank accounts, mineral rights, and royalty rights would have passed to the person named in the residuary clause. A sample residuary clause could be: “I give the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to my husband.”
Second, when writing a will, it is important for the testator to do his or her best to think of all assets owned. I always recommend that before delving into will drafting or other estate planning, parties gather information on their assets, agricultural business, farm and ranch. This includes an inventory list that identifies all major assets including real property, vehicles, equipment, mineral rights, royalty interests, bank accounts, retirement savings, investment portfolios, and personal property of significant value such as jewelry, artwork, and firearms. Having a complete inventory list can help to ensure one’s will does bequeath all of one’s assets.
Third, it is important to continue to update a will after it is drafted. This is particularly important if major life changes occur such as births, deaths, divorces, or the sale or purchase of assets. It is good practice to do a quick review of one’s will each year to ensure that changes do not need to be made.
Fourth, I always recommend that people at least consider using an attorney to draft a will. There are certainly documents that I think people can adequately draft themselves without too much worry. Wills, however, are so important and their interpretation is so critical that using an attorney to ensure that the testator’s wishes are carried out is generally well worth the cost. Additionally, while there is an up-front cost to have a will drafted by an attorney, it will almost always be less than the cost of litigating a will dispute down the road.
Finally, for anyone serving as an executor of an estate, it is really important to ensure that the executor understands what assets exist and how they are to pass under the will. Here, it was the executor’s belief that mineral and royalty rights were included in the term “personal effects” that caused the issue leading to litigation. Executors should be extremely careful and prudent before deeding over any assets from an estate.
The post Will Dispute Arises Over Definition of “Personal Effects” appeared first on Texas Agriculture Law.
Originally published by Kacy Miller.
Testifying is stressful, regardless of topic. But when it’s about something personal, the witness requires even more intensive coaching to stay composed.
Nothing says Happy New Year like a “Bull” episode with a predictably ridiculous happy ending. This week’s episode, “Look Back in Anger,” involves a civil trial alleging sexual abuse of a minor during camp for at-risk boys. The challenge, however, is the abuse occurred about 25 years ago. Even though New York temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse for one year, suing over abuse from a quarter century ago is challenging, at best.
The plaintiff, Stephen Raposa, had originally hired Bull’s team to sue on behalf of his younger brother, Ryan, who claimed he had been molested at 13 by the camp’s founder, a wealthy businessman named Peter Maybrook. Ryan’s life had since been plagued with drugs, alcohol, theft and, generally, failing to cope in the adult world. One afternoon, Stephen finds Ryan bleeding out in his bathtub: He OD’d and slit his wrists to make sure the deed was done.
The team informs Stephen that despite New York’s new laws, he cannot sue on behalf of his deceased brother. Moments later, Stephen tearfully admits that he too was molested at the camp by Maybrook, and a claim is born.
The episode, as usual, confuses civil procedure with criminal procedure, and most of the time ignores procedure altogether. Apparently in the world of “Bull,” this thing called “discovery” does not exist, which makes for interesting television, but laughable moments. Instead of writing about the litany of far-fetched procedural snafus, I want to focus on a subtle, but critically important, interaction between Bull and his client.
After deciding to take on the case, Bull met with Stephen privately to talk through the details of what happened. (Note: Typically, this sort of meeting would occur before deciding to file a lawsuit, but again, procedural muckety-muck.)
Stephen has not told his story of childhood molestation to anyone before and he is clearly uncomfortable. Bull’s advice to him was spot-on:
[Your discomfort is] completely understandable, but you’ll have to tell the story in front of a jury, and the best way to prepare for that is here.
Seldom do I wholeheartedly agree with Bull’s musings or tactics, but I can get on board with this one. Witness preparation is one of the most important, but often ignored, elements of trial prep. The law and the facts are the foundation of any successful case, but since human beings are the ones carrying the water for those facts, the people who tell your story must be ready to do so in a concise and compelling way. Unfortunately, the trial (and deposition) setting is so anxiety-producing that I’ve seen even the most composed professionals turn into sweating stammerers who would confess to the Lindbergh kidnapping just to get out of the hot seat.
Witness prep both helps them hone their message and also find ways to manage their (perfectly natural) anxiety. Here’s a rundown of my most crucial witness prep tips:
Acknowledge the Witness’ Discomfort
Whether your witness admits to it or not, he or she is feeling stress and anxiety about the prospect of testifying. And if your witness is testifying about personal issues, as opposed to accounting numbers or business policy, it’s even more difficult. This is especially true with victims in criminal matters; in family law cases, where dirty laundry and mudslinging accusations are almost a given; and in wrongful death or personal injury cases where a witness is testifying about a heart-wrenching loss, be it life or limb.
Empathize with your witness and acknowledge what they’re feeling. Let your witness feel all the feels; it’s OK. It’s not your job to make the feelings go away altogether. Instead, provide feedback that acknowledges what the witness is feeling and offer some support. Lawyering also involves a bit of shrinking (as does jury consulting).
The feelings that emerge when a witness recalls his story should never be overlooked, and I’m here to say, they often are. So, props to Bull for at least acknowledging the witness’ discomfort.
Practice Telling the Story
I’ve worked with witnesses who simply could not share their story without bursting into tears, expressing inappropriate anger or shutting down completely. And I am a friendly face and advocate. Can you imagine how these witnesses would fare in a deposition or on the stand without having told their story multiple times?
The more often a witness talks through her story, the more comfortable she’ll become with telling it. I’m not promising that your witness will turn into a rock star, but with preparation, she will certainly testify more effectively than they would otherwise. And know this: Telling the story does not always involve a formal mock question-and-answer session. Sometimes, you just need to have a casual conversation with your witness and allow her to process the experience, tap into the memory bank and figure out what her story actually is.
Use repetition to your advantage during the prep sessions. The story does not need to be perfect. It does not need to be trial-ready right out of the gate. It just needs to be accurate. Over time, the act of repetition teaches your witness that she can, in fact, tell her story. And tell it well.
Do Not Cram
The opportunities to talk through the story should occur long before the scheduled deposition or actual trial testimony. Do not, I repeat, do not, cram the night before. And do not wait until the witness bombs in a deposition to refine the message.
Ask any of my clients what I nag them about, and they’ll tell you this: Preparing your witness for testimony begins during discovery. It’s an ongoing process, not an eight-hour marathon meeting.
Break your prep sessions into multiple, shorter sessions. Yes, it’s a beatdown scheduling-wise, but it’s actually a win-win. The witness is provided more opportunities to tell her story and you are provided with multiple chances to identify inconsistencies, areas that require some information-gathering, and determining potential strengths and weaknesses from a fact standpoint.
Back to Bull
And now I realize I haven’t told you what happened in “Bull.” The quick version is this: Despite skepticism about Stephen Raposa’s claim that he too was abused by Maybrook (especially after the defense proves that Maybrook was out of the country during the critical date in Stephen’s testimony), Bull and team miraculously find photographic evidence of Maybrook’s affinity for young boys, resulting in a $35 million verdict against him.
The civil trial gave rise to criminal charges that most likely will put Maybrook in prison for a very, very long time.
OK, so I said it was a “happy” ending, and there isn’t such a thing when dealing with matters of sexual abuse. But, at the very least, there was a measure of justice for Raposa, which is something.
Photo: Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull and Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Stephen Raposa in “Bull” season 4 episode 11: “Look Back in Anger.” Photo: CBS Broadcasting Inc.
Originally published by Joanna Herzik.
To highlight some of the posts that stand out from the crowd, the editors of Texas Bar Today have created a list from the week’s blog posts of the top ten based on subject matter, writing style, headline, and imagery. We hope you enjoy this installment.
9. Texas Supreme Court on arbitrability of class claims – Christopher Stevenson of Adair Myers Graves Stevenson @AdairMyers in Houston
7. Happy New Year!! A Great Time to Review Your Insurance Policies for a Worry-Free Year – Chip Merlin of the Merlin Law Group @MerlinLawGroup
6. Safety, Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Helping yourself through a Texas family law case – Bryan Fagan @bryanjfagan of Law Office of Bryan Fagan in Houston
3. Your Estate Plan May Need To Be Tweaked: The SECURE Act Has Passed – Rania Combs of Rania Combs Law @raniacombs in Houston
2. Court Holds That Will Contestant Was Not Estopped From Challenging the Will Due to Accepting Assets – David Fowler Johnson @TXFiduciaryLit of Winstead PC in Fort Worth
1. The Thinning Tightrope for Harassment Investigations – Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. @chadwicklawusa of Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC in Frisco
Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.
If you have been served with a petition for divorce or a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, then you may have questions about how to proceed. It’s probably pretty clear to you that your spouse or the other parent to your child has filed a lawsuit against you, but after that, you are unclear on exactly what you should be doing. Do you need to file something yourself? Should you hire a lawyer? If you were served with the papers at a park or in a parking lot is that legitimate?
My first piece of advice on this subject is to at all times remain calm. A process server or constable has been hired by your opposing party’s attorney to go to the courthouse, pick up the documents from the court and give them to you. This has the effect of providing you with legal notice of the lawsuit having been filed. If you are approached by a person with paperwork that looks important you should receive the papers. There is no benefit to running away, throwing them on the ground or refusing to comply. Your opposing party will get “credit” for serving you notice of the lawsuit no matter what you do at that point.
Another point that I would like to make is that your spouse will get credit for having served you no matter where you are served. Many people are served at their home. Some are served at work. Others are served at doctor’s appointments, family member’s homes or other places that they regularly visit. Your opposing party will coordinate this with their attorney and the process server. Do not be surprised to be served if your spouse has spoken to you about filing for divorce or for a child custody case.
Do not make assumptions about what the paperwork you are served with says
One thing that I have noticed that people tend to do after they are served with a Petition for Divorce is that they will immediately read and become frustrated with what they are reading. The legal terms that are used in a Petition are often utilized in different ways than we would use those same words in everyday conversation. So, while you may think a phrase or request means one thing- it likely means something completely different.
With that said, you can read through what has been handed to you- it is your case after all. But, until you speak to an attorney do not make any hard and fast assumptions or determinations about what has been written in those documents. Requests for attorney’s fees to be paid by you is a common request in a Petition. When you file your Answer to that petition your attorney will likely make the same request of your spouse. It is not something to get immediately upset about.
What happens with the timeline of your case once you are served with a Petition?
The timeline or “clock” begins to tick as soon as you are served. The process server will report back to the courthouse with a document certifying that you were served with the Petition on that day at the specific time you were provided notice of the lawsuit. From there, a couple of different things happen.
First, you now have twenty days to file an Answer. Technically you have until the first Tuesday at 10:00 after the expiration of twenty days to file your Answer. An Answer is your legal response to the allegations and requests made by your opposing party in their Petition. It is not a complex legal document, but rather alerts the court that you are intending to participate in the lawsuit and have responses ready to the allegations made in the Petition. Most importantly, by filing an Answer you keep the opposing party in your case from getting a default judgment.
As simply as I can put it, a default judgment is a legal judgment that your spouse can get from a judge if it is shown that you were provided notice of the lawsuit, were served properly and then never filed an Answer. In order to keep your having not filed an Answer from delaying the end of the case, your spouse can then proceed to court after 60 days to have the judge sign into effect final orders that were created by her. You are bound by those orders even though you never laid eyes on them. Therefore, filing an Answer is a very important step in your legal case.
What should your reaction be after getting served?
We have already talked about how you should react at the moment that you are served. Well, you should continue to act calmly and rationally after the fact, as well. Speaking to an attorney as soon as you can is a good idea. I always advise potential clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to speak to a handful of attorneys in order to get a good idea of what the issues are, to learn as much about the process as possible and to get a feel for the attorney herself. Once you have interviewed enough attorneys to feel comfortable you can make arrangements to hire one.
The lawyer will take care of filing an Answer for you. However, he or she will certainly ask you for information about your family in order to not only file an Answer but to prepare for the next stages of your case. The attorney should inform you that your case is a marathon and not a sprint. You may want to take action immediately to address inconsistencies or “lies” in the Petition. You will get that opportunity, but it likely will not come in front of a judge- more on that later.
For now, you should enter the mindset that you are not going to contact your spouse unless you absolutely have to. Communication regarding your child is fine as long as you can be civil. You do not need to speak to your spouse if he or she is being uncivil or nasty to you. By the same token, you should not act that way towards him or her.
Consider not logging onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media until your case is over with. Family law attorneys are good at getting dirt on the opposing party and social media is a great place to look. For example, if you log into a social media account and say nasty things about your spouse and make this out to be World War III then that is information that certainly would be interesting to your spouse and their attorney. Do not give your spouse any ammunition to be used against you later. Work with your attorney, work to see your kids and play nice in the sandbox.
An alternative to filing an Answer: signing a Waiver of Service
There is one other way to respond to your spouse’s Petition for Divorce that we have not yet discussed in today’s blog post. That would be signing and filing a Waiver of Service. If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, agree on whatever issues exist in your case, and want to work together from the start to finish your divorce as quickly as possible then you can sign a Waiver of Service.
A few items to consider before signing a Wavier of Service. First, you need to read the Waiver carefully. Usually, if you have already hired an attorney, he or she will advise against you signing the document no matter what it says. However, if you do not believe that hiring an attorney is necessary then a Waiver can be signed. This happens with some frequency in situations where you and your spouse have talked through the divorce in a detailed fashion and have agreements in place on all issues related to your case.
Most waivers tell a court that you have received the Petition for Divorce (thereby proving that you have notice of the filing of a lawsuit) but waiver your right to be personally served with the lawsuit. From there, you will provide your contact information to the court so that they can have it on record if official mailing from the judge has to be sent out for any reason.
Temporary Orders: What they are and what they mean to your family law case
Filing for divorce, being served and then having an Answer filed can be looked at as the first step in the divorce process. Step number two involves something called Temporary Orders. This is a step where the marching orders for you and your opposing party will be established during the duration of your case. It is important that you be able to either negotiate for or have a judge award a fair array of temporary orders because the final orders in your case tend to mirror the temporary orders to a great extent.
If your case involves children then the temporary orders will deal primarily with them. Visitation, child support, conservatorship, etc. will all be dealt with. These orders will be signed by you, your opposing party and the judge. In a divorce, issues related to bills, property, temporary spousal support and other circumstances specific to your case will be hammered out. Issues regarding the sale of your home or other property, as well as the allocation of debts, will be determined later in your case.
Most of the time, family law cases in the temporary orders phase will be settled in mediation. Mediation is a process where you and your attorney, your spouse and their attorney and an independent attorney will come together to attempt to settle and negotiate your case. You will typically go to the mediator’s office and that attorney will put you in one room and your spouse in another (with your lawyers). The mediator will then bounce back and forth in between your rooms in hopes of reaching a settlement.
If a settlement is reached, the mediator will draft a document known as a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA). That MSA will be the basis from which the temporary orders in your case will be drafted. One of your attorneys will be charged with the responsibility to draft the temporary orders based on the language contained in the MSA. Both attorneys will typically look over the final draft and decide whether or not it fairly reflects the MSA. Once both sides are satisfied it will be signed and sent to the judge for their signature.
If no settlement, then a temporary orders hearing occurs
Tomorrow’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will center around Temporary Orders. This is a full-fledged hearing that allows you and your opposing party to submit evidence to a judge if a settlement cannot be reached in mediation. It is called a hearing but in reality, it is a mini-trial. A person who walks into the courtroom could not distinguish your hearing from a trial, anyway. If you are interested in what your temporary orders hearing could look like, then please head back here tomorrow.
Questions about family law cases in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are honored to be able to serve the community that we work and live in. For us, learning about you and your needs is the basis for developing a strong attorney-client relationship. We hope that you have learned something from our blog post today and always encourage questions and suggestions about the topics we discuss here.
If you have any questions or need clarification on anything you read today please do not hesitate to contact our office. We offer free of charge consultations here in our office six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity for you to learn more about your case and to have your questions answered in a comfortable environment. We look forward to meeting with you and serving your needs along with those of your family.
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- Our Justice System Must Become More Victim-Centric – Opinion by Retired Judge Eugene M. Hyman
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- Family Grieves Loss of Phoenix Mother and Her Baby Killed Allegedly by Husband