law-attorneys-fees-divorce  

ATTORNEYS FEES IN DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

McCloskey v. McCloskey (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 23, 2010)(Frost)
(
appeal from garnishment order, subsequent appeal, divorce and SAPCR case, characterization of attorney's
fees as child support in divorce case, bankruptcy stay)
In seven issues, Chris, the garnishment debtor, contends that (1) the trial court abused its discretion by not complying with the
mandate of the appellate court, (2) the garnishment action violated the automatic bankruptcy stay, (3) the garnishment action is
improper because it is the second action for the same fees, (4) the manner in which Chris’s assets were taken from two separate-
property accounts was improper, (5) this court should stay execution of judgment until this court “rules on the characterization of
attorney fees as child support,”(6) Chris was improperly divested of his assets, and (7) the judgment is manifestly unjust.  We
affirm.
AFFIRMED: Opinion by Justice Frost        
Before Justices Brock Yates, Frost and Brown    
14-08-00365-CV Christopher J. McCloskey v. Anne Miriam McCloskey, Michael A. Craig, and Fidelity Investments
D/B/A National Financial Services, L.L.C.    
Appeal from 387th District Court of Fort Bend County
Trial Court Judge: Robert J. Kern    
In seven issues, Chris, the garnishment debtor, contends that (1) the trial court abused its discretion by not
complying with the mandate of the appellate court, (2) the garnishment action violated the automatic bankruptcy
stay, (3) the garnishment action is improper because it is the second action for the same fees, (4) the manner in
which Chris’s assets were taken from two separate-property accounts was improper, (5) this court should stay
execution of judgment until this court “rules on the characterization of attorney fees as child support,”(6) Chris
was improperly divested of his assets, and (7) the judgment is manifestly unjust.  
We affirm.


Post-divorce partition suit

Susan further contends that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding Louis attorney’s fees.  The trial court,
however, had statutory authority to award fees independent of Susan’s sanctionable conduct.  The Texas Family
Code provides: “In a proceeding to divide property previously undivided in a decree of divorce or annulment as
provided by this subchapter, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees as costs.”  Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §
9.205 (Vernon 2006).  Given that Susan did not prevail on her claim, the trial court properly exercised its
discretion to award fees to Louis.  Louis’s counsel testified to their fees and submitted billing invoices.  
Furthermore, Susan’s own attorney testified that he believed that Louis had a right to attorney’s fees.  The trial
court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Louis attorney’s fees.
Source:
Messina v. Messina (Tex.App- Houston [1st Dist.] July 24, 2008)(Bland)
(
divorce post-judgment proceeding, undisclosed assets, MSA, sanctions, dismissal with prejudice following
nonsuit)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by
Justice Bland
Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Jennings and Bland
01-07-00277-CV Susan Gail Messina v. Louis Anthony Messina
Appeal from 308th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Hon. Georgia Dempster  




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