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Episode 30 - Vices and Virtues in Marriage

Episode 30 -Vices & Virtues in Marriage

Welcome to the top Texas Lawyers podcast. This podcast is brought to you by the law firm Abercrombie and Sanchez PLLC.

Your hosts are Bryan Abercrombie and Samuel Sanchez. Bryan has been practicing law for 18 years and his board certified that sort of legal specialization in the area of family law. Sam has been practicing for 13 years, is licensed in both Texas and Florida, and is a certified mediator. This podcast is for informational purposes only and all views are the opinion of the hosts. It's not designed to provide legal advice for your particular legal matter, and it should not replace the advice of competent counsel. Welcome. And we hope you enjoy the top Texas Lawyers podcast.

Welcome to the top Texas Lawyers Podcast, Party Edition! No, just kidding. How's it going, man?

It's going well. You know, we've got beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and great topic.

I'm taking this off to celebrate the lifting of the mask mandate that is coming over the horizon next week. So I've been wearing this mask, you know, for 10 months in my house now.  Just kidding, but I've been wearing it a lot. Probably still wear it for a little while, you know, just to be respectful and all that stuff and, you know, be safe. But I'm glad it's hopefully coming to an end.

It's welcome news. Welcome news. I think across the board, hopefully we can all get out of this mess.

Well, I'm Bryan Abercrombie, and with me, as always, is my partner in crime, Samuel Sanchez. How are you doing, Sam?

Doing well. Doing well. Glad to be here.

All right. So in case you don't know from the intro, we're going to be talking about your right to party. No, but in a way, we will off topic. We're going to be talking about your right to party in that we're going to be talking about vices and how that kind of affects marriages and divorces and families and stuff like that. So whether the vice be booze or pills or porn or drugs or, you know, social media or gambling or whatever the case may be, you know, we're going to be chatting about it. So before we get started, are there any celebrity divorces we want to talk about this week?

Well, you know, obviously some updates of the big ones that we know. Kanye apparently has moved out. The big one. That's the big one. I don't know what he's going to do with the 500 pairs of sneakers, but apparently they will packed away and insulated and ready for the move. So we'll see how that pans out. You know, they still haven't really even filed anything that I'm aware of, but it definitely is moving in that direction, which you're talking about.

You're talking about an over billion dollar divorce between the two of them, between all of the assets and holdings that each one of them has. Yeah, you're talking about Kim K. Money, you're talking about easy money, you're talking about rap money, you're talking about at all.

Yeah, I'm sure that they both have accountants and that they did a really good job of keeping everything separated from before when they were married.  I'm sure that's going to be a mess for both lawyers and accountants. Everybody's going to make a lot of money on that particular divorce.

And they got property in multiple states and four kids and property from multiple countries. You know, they got property all over the world.

So, you know, it's going to be an interesting adventure. You know, we know that Kanye had some emotional issues. So how does that go forward? You know, we've got kids in the mix and so it's going to be a whole big shooting match there.

Yes, it should be interesting. We'll watch how that all plays out. And, you know, obviously the property issues and the and the kiddo issues and depression issues and different things like that, I mean, I'm not going to, you know...it kind of doesn't really I guess it doesn't really segue way into our topic, I mean, obviously they're extra problems associated with the divorce. But vices, vices.

I disagree. I think it plays perfectly to talk about people who are full of vices between is probably prescription drug addiction and Kim Kardashian always being on social media. I mean, these are two of the biggest vices that we talk about in modern day. I mean, obviously, the proliferate of opiates, of prescription drugs and that abuse. And then you look at social media. I don't know about you, but I don't know how many clients I have come in that will talk to me and they'll say, hey, you know, I'm going to need your services. And I'm like, OK, well, what's going on? And they say, well, my spouse reconnected with a former girlfriend or boyfriend or Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat or whatever it is. The new platform, like social media has just taken that to a whole new level or flip it and they'll say, you know what, I'm completely ignored. Like, we don't even have a relationship. She's attached to her phone or he's attached to his iPad or so.

Ok, so over the years, over the years, I've had one I've had a client that one of the spouses or both of the spouses was addicted to World of Warcraft, have had one that was addicted to the end. We remember those who have had Facebook, numerous Facebook. Look, people, there is a reason why you broke up with them in the first place when you were in high school. That's all I'm going to say. But there's the Facebook, Long-Lost Facebook lover. There's addiction to social media. There is an Internet porn addiction. There's Internet gambling, regular gambling addiction. You name it, there's a lot of things that can trip up a marriage shopping addiction.

You know, I think this is a great topic to talk about because you know what? I don't know if we want to call it like, you know, dump the bitch or get rid of the dick or whatever we want to say there. But basically, it's like, you know, these are things that maybe they drew you to that person. Maybe that's how you guys even met originally. But when they go to extremes in any of these categories that we're going to touch on, it would tell you that it absolutely puts your relationship at risk and it ends up getting used against you in a lot of different ways that people just don't anticipate and never would.

That's weird because I never got the couple I divorced. It was a number of years ago. That was the World of Warcraft couple couple. They were both into World of Warcraft. Now, granted, they had no life outside of World of Warcraft. I think they lived in a little shanty house and they just spent all their time playing World of Warcraft. But I think one wanted to move out of the World World of Warcraft into the real World. And the other one wanted to stay in the World of Warcraft world. And so the two no longer meshed.

Well, she was probably trying to steal his online profile, you know, like she wanted to be the wizard. And and he was like, no, you can only be a female elf.

I don't know what kind of characters are in that world. And I'll be honest, I know absolutely nothing about World of Warcraft other than the fact that apparently you can play it. Twenty four hours...24/7.

All I know is that I know it's world wide. I mean, that's about as far as my experience there goes. But, you know, so let's kind of tee it up. I mean, vises, obviously, everybody has a cice. I think there's no way that you can get around it. Some of them are...

What's the difference between advice and a hobby?

You know, I think that they both are really the same category. They are two sides of the same coin. You know, some people take hobbies too extremes. You know, I represented a guy who was in love with classic cars. He probably had forty in a warehouse and he was constantly on the road to different car shows or different auctions, trying to find the next project car. And he would finish one only to sell it, flip it, and take another one. And during that entire time period, the way it ended up that I was representing him is his wife filed for divorce because she said, well, you love the cars more than you love me. And he was like, that's ridiculous. But when you look at the time spread between the two and the amount of assets and resources that were devoted to this hobby, it was extreme. It was extreme. And he had acknowledged through that process that, yeah, OK. Well, you know, it's probably the reason that the downfall, the relationship, because I spent so much time and energy in a place that wasn't our relationship, which obviously can end up in a divorce.

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, I've haven't had a classic car addiction. But you have people with with sex addictions and different things like that. I've had clients in the past that have had addictions that go to prostitutes and things like that. I mean, that's something that's really, really scary because you're potentially bringing disease home.  It's a health concern, in addition to a financial component associated with it. Not to mention a moral issue.

Problem in the marriage, so, yeah, and in the digital age, Bryan, you don't even have to bring anybody home and saying, like, you can you can spend thousands and thousands of dollars online paying individuals to have virtual sex with you and be used against you in the court. Sure. Yeah, you can special order one if you want to. But these are all things that truly as individuals can as we look around our lives and we think like what are things that potentially could hurt me if the relationship were to fall apart or that I need to look around and maybe course correct, keep that from happening. One of the examples I always try to give people is, you know, I was I was a big gym rat. I did triathlons, I was always in the gym lifting weights, I want to be super healthy and, you know, like it took my partner to sit down with me and say, hey, you know, you're gone all the time, like you work 12, 14 hours a day, then you instantly run to the gym for two hours and by the time you get home, we get to take each other for 15, 20 minutes, and then it's kids and sleep and it all starts all over again. And so while most doctors, I think would say, hey, that's a great habit, you know, it's a great stress reliever, you know, it keeps you healthy. But anything taken to the extreme can really lead to the downfall of a relationship.

So, yeah, that's a tricky one because, you know, you want to be healthy because in marriages having healthy people, you know, are good in most instances. But yes, taken to an extreme, I guess anything taken to an extreme, as you know, is a problem. I've had, you know, I've had shopping addictions. We've had, you name it.

Let's just touch on that first subject, because I will tell you, like, I've had a lot of cases where one person's like let's say you're both used to playing Warcraft and sitting on the sofa and you packed on the COVID 15 and one of you just wakes up one day and decides, hey, I think I'm going to get super healthy and you sign up for crossfit and all of a sudden you're freaking rocking the six pack and all of a sudden you're getting all kinds of looks and attention. And, you know, the other person is still sitting on the sofa packing on another five playing Warcraft.

You know, these are moments vises the way most psychologists, I think, and people who are in the industry, the worst kind of look at it is, you know, a vice is an opportunity for something to come in between you and the person that you have this relationship with, and in a lot of different ways because a vice is a time suck, right? Yeah, but they can also be financial. They can have financial implications.

That first and foremost, I mean, I am doing this for 20, 20-plus years. I think the biggest thing that I'm seeing in downfalls of relationships is typically going to be first a breakdown in communication. So those vices, I think you're talking about start the down the down the path of a breakdown in communication because you're spending more time focused on whatever it is. Let's use the alcohol example. You're spend the majority of your time focused on being at the bottom of the bottle, going to the bars or whatever, whatever else it is, whatever you're doing versus communicating with your partner. And then and then everything spiraled from there. And then, like you said, the financial component that comes along with that stuff, I mean, alcohol can lead to a vice. It can lead to legal expenses for criminal attorneys. It can lead to loss of job and employment. And not to mention that depending on what you drink, it can be it can be very, very expensive, as you typically have to have to start drinking more and more and more.

So if people start like subpoenaing my bar tabs are going to have problems. But, you know, I mean, I would say I agree with you, Bryan. And, you know, one of the things I always tell clients is, you know, that's one of the first questions I think a good attorney should ask. Any client when they're coming in through that process is tell me about this one, why we're here, what's your motivation? But to what are the vices that I'm going to hear about? You know, tell me about the skeletons in the closet. Right. Is it that this new boyfriend or girlfriend who you met at the gym, or is it that she hates the porn addiction? And every time she turns on the computer, one of the kids came in and saw your iPad and you're flipping through frickin porn? Or is it that it's prescription medication? It came off of an injury or a car wreck or something that you just can't seem to kick it and now you're immersed in that world?

Or is it as simple as I'll give you a new one that I've heard is obviously podcast. We're doing a podcast is obviously something that's really taken over society worldwide, and it gives people an avenue to be able to just kind of like what I think used to be read. You had a case one time where a client came in and he said, man, I'm on. My wife's always walking around with a book or a magazine. Like, I can't get her attention. Like she's she's always rather be in this imaginary world in her mind, then interacting in the physical world with us and our children. And I think that's really an effect of the digital age. Is it so easily available to us to get into this kind of virtual space? And podcasts are one of them. I mean, True Crime? I don't know about your wife, but my wife is all about True Crime.

Oh, I can only tell you the stories I've heard about that.

Right. You know, we were talking about, you know, celebrity divorces. People get all kinds,The Bachelor...

Or the guy never left town for a week... But did he leave town...or was he hiding a body or was it something more sinister? You start to get in that mindset. You hear too many podcasts and you get in that mindset and you start to think there something sinister going on everywhere. Right?

Well it takes your attention. So if all of a sudden you're like, hey, the kids need to be fed and you're like, well, I got to finish my podcast. So have 15 of 20 minutes right now, 15 minutes. You're like, hey, we got to go do stuff after this. So, you know, these are things that can be huge sources of frustration and it's something you should be cognizant of, whether it's a positive for you, like working out of the gym all the time or it's a negative, you know, it's an opioid addiction or it's a porn addiction or any form of fantasy football addiction.

I've had one of those before. I had somebody that was into both gambling and fantasy football. So you're talking about just a massive amount of money, losing money with the bookies every weekend. But then it was also Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, getting ready for fantasy football and then picking lineups and whatever else it was doing every week. And now, you know, all fantasy, a lot of fantasy football combined with with gambling. So you've got, you know, drafting leagues and stuff where you're putting your money on the line and and trying to win. And, you know, that takes a that takes a toll. It takes a toll.

Absolutely. And when you talk about money. Right. Obviously there's two things that I always feel are at the source of a lot of divorces. I don't want to say all of them, but probably, let's say a good 70 percent plus of the ones that I've handled, which is either money or people. All right. So what's up?

Is there such thing as poor and happy? Is there such a thing as poor and happy?

I've seen it, but it's really rare. It's really rare. And it's got to be like that true love. And you just got to be willing to kind of look at it and say this situation is going to be all right. I have some faith, but money is really a big piece of it. Not only is it do you have it and you don't share it or you don't tell about it, or it's that you spend it on a thing that the other person doesn't like has give you an example, right? I don't know, cigarette smoking or cigars. One of my best friends from college is huge, just developed this huge addiction to cigars. And it's not like he was smoking in sweets. He was like the God-awful uncle. He was like, the Romeo and Juliet. Yeah, he built a humidor in his house, you know, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. His wife was like a nut freak, hated it, hated that he smoked cigars, really hated the fact that he was spending tons and tons of capital on something that she didn't agree with.

And sometimes you're setting money on fire.

Yeah, basically, that's what she would say all the time. So, like, how much is that cigar? Let's say it was sixty, seventy seven dollars cigar. And she is like you are literally rolling money up and just lighting it on fire. It would break and waste time so that it can kill you later on so you can spend more money. Yeah. I mean it was just like that the whole time. But these are the kinds of things that I think people are running into more and more than having to buy special I think is pretty hilarious because, you know, the basics have changed, brother. I mean, I would tell you, like when I started when we started practicing, give me a good advice. What you used to see when we started, probably alcohol, right?

Alcohol, drugs, the usual gambling, chasing skirts or chasing guys, you know, being too flirtatious.

These are kind of the things that people get addicted. But it was in person, right? So now all of a sudden it's like internet shopping, like my Amazon account is burning like ten thousand dollars a month. I can't get her to stop. And then when I cut off my cards, she goes off and opens her own cards that I don't know about because she has an addiction.

Yeah, but then now they're hyping it. So then all of a sudden it's like this huge divisive issue. And how do you fix it? I mean, it becomes a part of people's personality when they do this kind of stuff.

Yeah. And I mean, when I first started practicing law you know, you would have a lot of times the story where we met at the ten year high school reunion and we reconnected. And now we're, you know, we're in seedy motels. And, you know, he's leaving his wife. I'm leaving my husband. Whatever the case may be. Now it's easier than that. It's Facebook. It's going on Facebook and going on Classmates. One hundred one hundred different ways to connect with people and find that. Oh, I wonder what my lost ex boyfriend or girlfriend is up to these days.  And don't do it. Don't do it.

Don't, don't, don't intervene in the search engines.

Don't Google them. Just reason back to whenever it was you broke up. Trust me, it wasn't...it's not a romance story that you know, is waiting to be told are OK. I guess it could be. But that's the lottery ticket, right? That's the unicorn.

Yeah. Yeah. Know, I mean, it's you know what I try to tell clients as they come in and they want to talk about like, hey, I'm just I'm not there, but I feel like I need to kind of prepare myself for the event that it could come.

I mean, we're having issues, we're fighting, we're not agreeing about money, whatever it is. And I always tell them the reason that we're having this talk at the onset of our consultation is because these are the things they want you to be introspective about, because they will come back to haunt you as you go forward. What do I mean by that? Well, your vice is the gym. OK, and so you're like, I'm super, super healthy. I'm just trying to have, like, a healthy lifestyle so I can be around and provide for my family for years to come. And the other person in the relationship says, yeah, but you're never there with the kids, ever. I'm doing everything 100 percent.

Technically you're not providing now, right?

Right. And so instantly they're like, how can that be used against me? And I'm like, because that time that you've invested, you're making a decision, right? You're setting the course of a river that's flowing in your life that can be used against you by a court, by the other side to say you made these decisions. You consciously decided to invest money, capital, energy in these things that weren't a part of your family. And because of that, I'm going to let you do that. But the time that you were spending over there, you're not going to get it back in the situation potentially, especially if it's a harmful vice. So you really need to kind of look around as you're considering and contemplating what's around you in life and know how it potentially can affect you negatively.

I had a client one time with an ultramarathoner. His wife was an ultramarathoner. I mean, you know what an ultramarathoner is. You know, they do these hundred mile runs and things like that. Yeah. People that are addicted to punishment. I know. I'm just kidding. But, but seriously, this ultramarathons thing, she was taking trips across the country to San Diego or different places to do these ultramarathons, you know, and she's gone four days at a time, not to mention the amount of time it takes to train for one of these things. I mean, you're talking about on a Saturday, she's gone seven, eight hours training every Saturday. And he's he's stuck with the kids. And he comes into my office and wants to know if he can get custody and, yeah, yeah, I think you can't get custody in a situation like that. I mean, I think it's you know, you look at like you said, you look at the time each parent is spending with the kids, what they're devoting to the kids and who takes care of those kids' needs. That was him taking the kids to all the medical appointments and picking up kids from school, doing all the homework, doing all the activities on Saturdays and Sundays, because mom was out training for ultramarathons, which was great because she's super healthy and all that. But, you know, at the end of the day, who's the primary parent?

Yeah, absolutely. A similar example. And I give it to you. This is because people always want to say, well, the only thing I really spend time on is my family. But your family can be a vice just the same way. I give you an example. I had a client who I was representing, female wife, mom. Her daughter was big time, wanted to go to the equestrian Olympic trials. OK, so one extremely expensive sport, extremely expensive. And two is not like it's at every park. Right. It's not like you go, oh, I'm going to go to the equestrian event like a soccer field around the block. No, these are events that happen all across the country, if not all around North America. So she was going with a fifteen year old child to all these different events, trying to get them qualified for the Olympic trials the entire time. Who's left at home with the other children?

So it became this huge, divisive issue, one about money because it became pretty apparent that as talented as this girl was, she wasn't going to make the Olympic trial team. And so that became a huge source of tension because mom was like, well, as long as she wants to do it, I want to do it because they both loved it. Well, they both loved it, daughter, because she was in this great competition and got to be home schooled and do things that the other kids didn't get to do. A fantastic experience. What a great life. Mom loved it because there just happened to be a couple of horse trainers that just gave her a whole lot of attention. And so, like, yeah, all of a sudden what had been something that was really positive for the family was 100 percent behind, became the source of really the central point of this divorce. Do we continue to spend that money because it was substantial and all the activities that went along with that, were they really conducive to the 15 year old's development? Was it conducive, obviously not to the marital relationship and the estate and who was going to pay for that? And this really became a pretty complicated issue all off of that.

And mom even said on the stand, I'll never forget it. She said she was like, look, the only addiction or vice that I have is loving my daughter and wanting to provide this for her. OK, did you see them saying and so, like in that the court was like, that's fine, that's fine. That you want to do that and that you love it, I'm going to let you do that. But as far as you saying, I'm going to get all the other kids and I'm going to leave them with the nanny and Dad's not going to get them, that's just not going to happen. You put this stuff in place. And so that that's a really tough example of something obviously that's super expensive. But you can take that down to like soccer, baseball, basketball. I mean, select teams. You know, every kid, every parent wants it to be phenomenal and enrolls them in this stuff. Gymnastics, but they all take time.

And they all take an investment, feel like anything with horses, though, automatically comes with like, you know, how like the restaurants have the three dollar signs or four dollar signs. I mean, like anything with horses has like four dollar signs is automatically four dollars.

It's expensive. It's expensive for sure. But I mean, I felt I could see that obviously both parents love their kids and they didn't want this to become an issue, but it had until, you know, so.

Well, let's talk about that for a second. Like where you put your time, like, for example, like you're putting I mean, essentially, this is the woman with the equestrian daughter that's putting their time into a positive experience for the child. Let's talk about some of these devices that are negative experiences like drugs and alcohol. If you're if you're putting your time into drugs and alcohol, the chances of you getting supervised visitation or some kind of restriction on you are are exorbitantly high. Just courts don't want to mess around with, you know, they want to do what's best for a child and then they're not going to put the child in a risky situation. If they can avoid it. That's all there is to it.

Yeah, without a doubt. And not only that, Bryan, but a lot of people don't even realize what that bias equates to, because a legal vice and a real world, real world bias are probably a little different.

And what I mean by that is you having a glass of wine or two every night of the week for a substantial period of time is potentially a pretty big voice in family law. But in the real world, I mean, you're just part of like the 20 crowd. It's like there's what we do. But when you talk about that, the four glasses of wine per bottle, you have an expensive wine because you only like those really great. Was it Opus X or Deus X or whatever ones you like to drink wine?

Oh yeah. We only go private label vineyards here.

So, you know, I'm saying to like all of a sudden these are things that can be used against you, because when you talk about you have young kids and you're like, hey, she drinks every night and you don't drink, you're the health nut, right? You do a little working out you into the debate.

And while mom's having a glass of wine by the fire, OK, is there anything necessarily wrong with that? Probably not. But can you be can it be used against you as the way stuff spins? Yeah, absolutely. I'll give you a better example like this. So, you know, smoking, it's not illegal. It's not illegal. But guys, you know what? You're smoking in an enclosed car with your kids and they're small. And the other parent wants to say, hey, you know, that's a health hazard. Yeah, that is. It is. And they'll get a doctor up there to say, hey, you know, this is horrible and it's an addiction. And it's like something that's really hard to kick. Right. So you're sitting there saying, like, hey, they all smoked when they married me.

They knew this was a whole issue and all of a sudden that we're getting divorced. I can't smoke around the kids. They want that restriction because of their health.

But I can't drink around the kids. We met at a bar, but I can't drink around the kids anymore.

Know first time I met her, she was completely sloshed. And now all of a sudden I can have a beer when the kids are around. These are the kinds of things that absolutely can become afflictions that will hurt you and hurt.

It's not necessarily it's not necessarily what's true. It's how things are spun. So like you're talking about maybe you have one glass of wine every night, but a good lawyer can craft that into, you know, into an alcohol addiction. You know, you could be having it for a heart, for heart health reasons. I mean, whatever. But I know you only drink wine for, you know, for the antioxidants, for your heart and everything.

So bourbon bourbon is just for the sugar man. I just need a little sugar spike every once in a while. But no, I mean, a great example of this kind of pass along would be like, you know, obviously the Internet, it's got this great facets of information.

It also has a very dark side, a very deep underbelly. Porn is one of those and porn is not illegal. Well, let me say, not all porn is illegal. There's a lot of it is, but a lot of it is absolutely illegal. And it could have even been a part of your relationship. But I'm going to tell you right now that there are certain things that just get a court go that get them to instantly raise their eyebrows and look at you and be like, hmm, I wish you would have done that. Drinking, using drugs, heavy porn, addictions. These are things that, you know, you could say like, hey, I only look at porn when I'm by myself, when I'm with my wife on our computer in our bedroom. Kids are never around. But that's fine when you're together. It's when you're not together. And the court has to contemplate, hey, you know, who am I going to trust in this situation? The type of behavior that you have, what kind of porn? Instantly they want subpoenas to look at the digital imprint of your computer and they're pulling hard drives and they're mapping out where you the websites that you go to based off history. And all of a sudden you're like, I looked at something, but I didn't even click on it.

Like it was just something that came up in the feet. You got problems, got massive problems, or you're talking about drugs. So you're like, hey, you know, I have to take a lot of prescription drugs. What do you have an emotional issue? Know, I take Xanax because I'm like, I'm in this high stress environment. They just need to kind of wind down its prescribed to me, but as a good lawyer, I sit down there and say, well why do you need. Are you saying you can't control your emotions? Are you saying that you're in such a position that potentially if you weren't taking this medication, you would be a threat or harm to somebody, even yourself? How do you you want to play that to extremes? And you're like, absolutely not. Although why take it? Why get it if it's not a concern? Why did the doctor give it to you? You know, and instantly you're backpedaling on something that was really innocuous in your mind. But these are the kinds of things that you have to really be prepared for if you're going to get into a mess.

Yeah, I would agree. I mean, I think things are spun a certain way. And, you know, this is going to be a touchy subject for some people. But I've had one where there was I don't want to call it a religious vice, but there was one one half of the married couple was absolutely adamant about church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Tuesday evening, Wednesday night, Thursday Bible study, you know, hanging around with different church members all the time, which led into something, you know, it was a little bit sketchy. We never we never confirmed whether or not it was an actual affair. But it was definitely something of a sketchy mission. Trips, money spent on mission trips, just just an overabundance of of church all the time. And so he's like, wait a minute, you're you know, you're taking complete time away. We're not a husband and wife anymore because you're always at church. You're always at a Bible study. You're always at something. Well, what are you trying to do? Take away my relationship with God?

Well, no, but, you know, it's that breakdown in communication. It's not it's not everybody would would would say that going to a place where that's morally going to keep you on the right track and you know, it teaches you right from wrong. It's a good thing. But it's one of those things where it's an overabundance of something and it's overdoing it to the point of obsession, where it leads into a downfall of the marriage.

Oh, brother. I mean, along that same lines, I did a case where a high profile client came in and he was part of a very well known church that the other side felt was a cult.

And so it wasn't even that he went that often. He went like once a week. But he was very attached to this church and wanted his kids to be a part of it. And they spent the majority of their case talking about the cult aspects of this particular church and his religion, his chosen religion, and used it as a mechanism against him. And this was a very conservative court. And so the judge really took into account like these types of behaviors that he didn't feel were appropriate, whether it was I'm going to it wasn't this, but like, it's Santería, right. Or it's something that's a doomsday church that says the end is coming in July of twenty twenty one. And all of a sudden you're the other parent and you're like, I'm absolutely going to use that against what the Constitution says. You have this right to believe what you want, the religion that you want. But that doesn't mean you have the right to have alcohol because you're over the age of twenty one. You have the right to go to a gym any time you want you to stay healthy. But that doesn't mean it won't be used against you. And I really feel like it's not always excess. So you have to really kind of help clients or help people are listeners understand is that it can be anything spun the wrong way or the right way if it's your perspective that you want the court to hear and absolutely be something that's used very, very powerfully against you.

Absolutely, and I think, like I said, I think it's things that are done and overabundance that take time away from from children and things and things like that, I think in a situation where let's talk about situations where voices are not as big of a deal, where people think they're a big deal. But, you know, normally, like, the court's not really going to care too much about that. I would say typically when there's not children involved, most of these things that we're talking about and unless there's a ton of money spent, I don't know, the courts are going to pay as much mind to it. I mean, there might be a little bit of shift. The percentage know fifty to forty eight. Fifty three, forty seven, maybe fifty five. Forty five if you're lucky. And a property division. But I mean if they say there's no children involved and you're, I don't know, having affairs but you're not spending a lot of money on it, I don't, I don't know that the court's going to really, really nail your hide to the wall. I mean, quite frankly, I agree with your brother.

And that's really a trend that's changed over time before in Texas, obviously, where no fault divorce. They people hear that. They're like, what does that mean? Well, it just means that you can get divorce for any reason. She burnt my toast. You know, she woke up and she wears glasses and I decided I don't like glasses. His hair is turning gray.

But I don't have to have a reason. But there is fault as well.

Right. You can allege fault if you're willing to prove it. And when you talk about vices or these types of issues, to your point, I would say that's like spending money, definitely time. There are a lot of people now that like with guns. We've talked a lot about guns. You're a gun guy. I'm a gun guy. And you're like, hey, they're not cheap. So you miss the money. You've got gun sales, you've got ammo and you go to court and like, hey, they're going to use this against me. I have tons of clients who come in and they're like, I have a mini arsenal. I've got tons of stuff. And she's never really been a gun person or he's never been a gun person. And she owns all the weapons and she's like, I want to keep him with me. And the guy's like, well, I don't want any guns around my kids. Is that going to be something?

Courts kind of look at that and they're like, no, unless you're going to tell me that there's family violence issues or, you know, you're entitled to own them or if you're looking at it in like you shopping by straight, I mean, you know, people want to say, like, she spends so much money and she's not going to you know, she's going to spend it on getting her hair done or he's going to spend it on his car, not spend it on my kids. You know, the court's going to look at you and go, guess what? You're entitled to spend your money however you want to, as long as it gets a little.

I have a I have a lady one time just swearing up and down. He spent so much money on these hunting trips, he spends money hand over fist, this and that. And then he spend a lot. They didn't have any kids. He spent a lot of money on hunting trips. Absolutely. He spent a lot. And we're talking one hundred thousand dollars on hunting trips over the course of four or five years. I mean, a lot of money. He went through all kinds of exotic places to to hunt and do different things. So, I mean, this guy. Yeah, spent some some some cheddar on this stuff. But then we looked over and we looked over at why if he was complaining up and down that he's wasting and diminishing the community estate, doing all this stuff and blah, blah, blah. So we looked at her and shoe collection and the person's shoe collection over the course of, you know, over a number of years. I mean, this lady had, you know, Chanel bag. She had, you know, all this Christian Louboutin's and all that good stuff going on and all these, you know, Christian Louboutin shoes. And I mean, just she had probably one hundred thousand dollars worth of shoes and handbags and jewelry that she had accumulated over that same amount of time. So is that advice on here? I'm sure. But hey, wait a minute. You know, she spent I mean, he's going to get no use or benefit out of a pair of size seven Christian Louboutin shoes.

You know, he can pass them on.

You got to give a lot of benefit out. This particular guy wasn't going to get a lot of a lot of benefit of a Louis Vuitton purse or anything. So, you know, people that spend money and they're going to you're going to call that advice. I don't know if I can get you anywhere when you're talking about a situation with no kids involved. I mean, I think if you I think these devices become bigger when there's little ones involved. And you're talking about a parenting plan. I think so. That's what you've got to look at is what's this parenting plan going to look like? And look, if you're a great dad, you just like to run marathons and you know, and you spend time away.

And she doesn't like the fact that you run marathons and that interferes with the husband and wife time and she wants you to divorce you. That's probably not going to affect your case. I mean, you're going to have free time to run marathons because nobody nobody's going to have the kids. Fifty percent of your one hundred percent of the time if there's if there's a divorce. So you're going to have your marathon time. No. And that's a situation where you may be a crappy husband because you're not spending time with your wife, but you're not you're not a bad father. You know, I think it's situations where this where this vice, whatever it may be, takes a. From your ability to be a father or a mother, that that's whenever that's whenever the court's going to step in and go, wait a minute, you know, you're going to have to get this under control or you're not going to have time with your kids or whatever the case may be.

Yeah, the only other thing I would add to that is that a lot of times we talk about waste as attorneys. Right. So if you can categorize it as waste, well, what is that? Right.

It's like I've had a devil of a time getting waste claims the stick over the course of, you know, over the course of 20 years. I mean, the best example of getting one to stick would probably be a guy that spent two hundred fifty thousand dollars on a stripper. I mean that on the same stripper that he would go to every week. Definitely waste. That's waste. I mean, just she likes to shop a lot. Isn't going to get you there, I don't think.

Well, I would tell you had a case and I'll give you this is kind of the Good Samaritan rule is what I used to call our still call it.

But I had a client that I represented and the spouse had been giving away substantial amounts of money. I mean, substantial amounts of money and being philanthropic, that's great. I think everybody in the world wants that and encourages it. Unless you look at it and you say, let's evaluate where that money is being given to, is it really a good cause? You know, she's giving five thousand dollars a whack to someone in Nigeria who turns out it's not actually a Nigerian friends.

He said, I want to return fifty thousand dollars for five thousand dollars investment. And, you know, she was taking money from this family trust to be able to pay this money that was creating these waste claims.

And so the court was very concerned about that because once we were able to delve into where this money was going, it wasn't like she was donating to the Catholic Church or the Baptist Church or the Salvation Army, something that had some legitimacy to it, even though it was altruistic in her mind. She was like, I'm trying to help people. The court really delved into is this waste and did compensate the estate back for some of the money that not all of it, but for some of the money that she had disposed of that way. So, you know, it doesn't always have to be something bad that a court can look at. But I will agree with you a hundred percent, Bryan, it's harder and harder now to get courts, to even want to recognize that they just of get money under the bridge. You know, people get to spend how they spend it.

And then when you get divorced, we're going to do and it's very tough to get a reconstituted state. You know, Americans, especially when parties are dealing with limited finances and and the money's already been spent. You know, if you've got additional money or you've got investments and that's where those reconstituted state claims can be can be useful and helpful, and they can they can help you recoup some of that money. But if the money is gone and the parties don't have it anymore, you know, zero zero is still zero. Right.

And last time I checked, I mean, new math may have changed that. But back in the old style math, that was that was the result. And, you know, I would just add as a cautionary tale for anybody, you know, we're talking about these vices and making fun of them. But, you know, I know when you're out there and you're in a situation and you look at it and you say doggone it, this is just extremely frustrating or, you know, it's causing a lot of grief in my life, regardless of what device is that, you think either that you have it or that you're the someone else in your relationship, as it would tell you, like don't wait, OK? The longer that you endure that, the less it's going to matter to a court, because the more that you say, hey, you know what, wife? I don't mind so much that you always are hooking up with guys from your past or husband. I don't mind that you go to the strip club all the time and drop thousands of dollars, know, and it happens for months and then years. And then you want to come back in and say, well, that's a huge waste. Court's courts really look at you and say, I feel like you acquiesce to that a long time ago. It'd be different.

That's a great point, because if you if you go well, go go along and get along for such a long, long, long, long period of time. And you've known about it, you know, you know, caveat emptor, right? I mean, buyer beware at that point, you know, you already know you kind of waive your you waive your right to claim that you're you're you're wronged by that. If you let it go and let it go and let it go and you've applied to your spouse that it's OK, you know, like a shopping shopping thing.

Well, you wait five years until your divorce attorney. Well, I couldn't stand that. She started spending five thousand dollars a month shopping. Well, you never said anything about it for for four years and eleven months. So and that was happening every month. And you never did anything about it. You never said anything about it. You know, what's done is done at that point. Yeah.

You're not going to get that. He's ten years in hunting trips or you building classic cars. And now all of a sudden you're like, I hated the hobby and that's why I'm divorced and I want all that money back.

And you can divorce him for the classic cars, but you can't necessarily get the money back. Because, you know, you're allowed to spend your money on the things that you enjoy doing. I mean, when you're married, obviously every marriage makes compromises or compromise compromises. Love, secret ingredient. Right.

We all have a boss. We all got a boss. We got to report to like that.

Compromise is a secret ingredient. But at the same time, you know, you you're allowed to spend money on the things that make you happy.

If reading books makes you happy, if you have the occasional drink or go in to the horse track, makes you happy, then you're allowed to spend the money that you make doing the things that you want to do. So, I mean, I think even if you're making a claim that he is he's got advice to go into the horse track and he loses all this money. If it's a situation where he's lost one hundred dollars a month for five years and only the court's going to care if he's bankrupting the house and you're about to fall into bankruptcy and the kids are starving to death and he's still going to the horse track, that's another thing. So you've got to temper these, quote unquote, vices with with a little bit of common sense and rationality. I think in some instances.

Yeah, I would agree wholeheartedly, brother. I mean, I definitely think that you you hit the nail on the head. I mean, it's not all vices, but not all good, right?

Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest takeaway from this for people is the breakdown in the marriage. A lot of times the vices are symptom and not necessarily the cause of the downfall of the marriage. A lot of times that starts the communication or the financial breakdown or whatever, and then everything kind of goes from there.

But, you know, if you if you see something like, you know, as a as a word of caution, if you see some of these vices starting to take a hold, it's time to sit down and have a talk, maybe visit that marriage counselor, because, I mean, sitting in front of you or you or me, we're trying a family reorganization here and we're trying to you know, we're trying to get you out of a situation with as much intact as possible and get as much time with your kids as possible. We're not we're not marital counselors where we're going to try to put things back together. You may want to get that to get to that on the front side.

Yeah, I would absolutely say that that's somebody else's job. But we're here for you. If the other side doesn't work out, obviously, you can reach us in Fort Worth in the Dallas Metroplex area at eight one seven nine one four five four seven zero. You can do this up at a legal dot com and follow us on Instagram. It is legal dot com and I speak as well. Yeah.

So we're going to be down in Houston two eight one three seven four four seven four one as always. And you also get me on the same one hundred line. So we're we're going to have some more shows coming up. Just a tease. Maybe what we're doing in the future. We're going to have a roundtable with some realtors coming up in the in the next couple of weeks. As soon as we see round that up, I think that I think hearing from people that sell houses for a living when you're going through a divorce and trying to sell a house, I think is some good information, but a lot of good entertaining folks that can tell us a lot of good information. We're also probably going to talk a little bit about your favorite your favorite pop star fan, Britney Spears. Britney Spears. I can't wait.

I've been waiting for this one. I will wait for this man. I watched the documentary. I can say like, I'm super excited. I'm like now.

I mean, but, I mean, it's it's an interesting story about, OK, when somebody has a guardianship, you know, how does that affect the marital but potentially a marital relationship and things like that? I mean, there's a lot of you know, a lot of interesting takeaways from that that we can that we can certainly sink our teeth into and unpack. So for sure. Looking forward to. All right. My man will have yourselves a great week. And we're recording this on Friday. I think it will be released on Tuesday.

But you're going to have a great weekend. I know, because you're that guy and we're finally coming out of the clouds or hopefully lifting and we're coming out of this cove. Admire that. We've been stuck in for the last year. But have a great weekend, Sam.

And I thank you for your time, as always, brother.

It's a pleasure.

All right.

Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoyed the Top Texas Lawyers Podcast. If you'd like to schedule a consultation with either Bryan or Sam, please call 1-888-981-7509. Or visit us on the web at astxlegal.com. Once again, that's astxlegal.com. Thank you very much.

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