Husband lost his divorce case, and the judge ordered him to pay his former spouse thousands of dollars in spousal support and for contempt of court.  

After husband lost, he filed what is called a writ of mandamus for relief, and he won.  

Here is a recent case where very strong relief was granted to a man who filed a writ of mandamus with the appeals court after losing at his contempt hearing to his former spouse.

The Court of Appeals of Texas, Beaumont, ordered that all of the money Wife was to be paid by husband would not be paid.  It was a strikingly big win for husband, since winning at the appellate level is very difficult to accomplish.




No. 09-20-00074-CV. 

Court of Appeals of Texas, Ninth District, Beaumont 


Order Entered March 2, 2020.



Michael D. Rubin, for Charity Lenee Parchem, Real party in interest.

Sean M. Reagan, for Mark Athans, Relator.

Original Proceeding County Court at Law No. 3 of Montgomery County, Texas Trial Cause No. 18-01-01228-CV.

Before Kreger, Horton, and Johnson, JJ.





Mark Athans filed a petition for writ of mandamus. The relator is the respondent in contempt proceedings in Trial Cause Number 18-01-01228-CV, In the Matter of the Marriage of Mark Edward Athans and Charity Lenee Athans. Relator seeks a writ compelling the Honorable Patrice McDonald, Judge of the County Court at Law Number 3 of Montgomery County, Texas, to set aside the divorce decree and all orders flowing from it, including a contempt order. See Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. § 22.221. In the alternative, relator asks this Court to set aside the contempt order and order a new trial with a mandate that extrinsic evidence is permissible.

Relator requests that all contempt proceedings, including his payment obligations, be stayed as temporary relief. See Tex. R. App. P. 52.10(a). The Court finds temporary relief is necessary to prevent undue prejudice. It is ORDERED that all further proceedings in Trial Cause Number 18-01-01228-CV are STAYED until our Opinion issues or until further order of this Court. See Tex. R. App. P. 52.10(b). No bond is required of the relator as a condition to any relief herein granted.

The response of the real party in interest, Charity Lenee Athans, is due March 12, 2020.


Cite Writ of Mandamus case as:

In Re Athans, Tex. App.- Tex: Court of Appeals, 9th Dist. 2020.

See case on Google Scholar here.

How This Case Would Be Used In A Mandamus Brief

If you have a case where the underlying divorce decree is void, but the trial court erroneously enforced it with contempt, you would include the Athans case as an authority to hault contempt orders.

The brief might say something like:

As in the case of In Re Athans, Tex. App.- Tex: Court of Appeals, 9th Dist. 2020, where the court stayed all payment obligatiosn under both the decree, and the contempt enforcement order, the same relief is respectfully requested here.