21
Mar

Scheduling Your Prison Wedding & Why Waiting On I60’s Are Worth The Wait…

Patience during your “Prison Wedding Planning Process” is difficult but a necessary part of marrying an inmate in a Texas Prison.

The I60 Request For Marriage Form is the one last thing we have to wait on. Today, while sitting in a parking lot (as usual) and writing this blog on my IPhone 7 Plus because I hate updating my phone, I was yet again waiting for someone “running late” with the rest of the bridal party and decided after getting a text from one of my brides, to “go over” the often infuriating wait for an I60 to be Approved.

The I60 can REQUIRE up to 6 signatures. If someone is out sick or on vacation, the I60 isn’t “magically” forwarded to the next Department. Quite the opposite. The I60 sits and waits on the signor to return before following the “route” to the next signor. Once again, if someone is on vacation or out sick, the document sits and waits on the signor. 

Because neither you or I or even the Unit itself can impede or change the “Paperwork Process,” we are NOT in control regarding the timeline of the I60 being signed off on and FINALLY moved from the Wardens Office to the Chaplain who is in charge of scheduling. 

Every timeline for an I60 is different. I remember being shocked when Miguel Martinez was Approved within 7 days of his gorgeous bride calling to book me. 

Traditionally, an I60 takes 7-21 days UNLESS there happens to be a DENIAL or DELAY. These case by case scenarios are rare but… they happen and have happened and will continue to happen in rare circumstances. 

Let’s go over a DENIAL. It’s every prospective Bride or Groom’s most devastating phone call. No one expects it. NO ONE. 

You cannot “simply be DENIED” because the Warden felt like it. There are (mainly) legal reasons or TDCJ regulations outlining why an I60 is either APPROVED or DENIED.

It’s essential to comprehend that a DENIAL IS NOT FINAL. Stay calm. Call me and we will go over the issue and more importantly, how to refile the I60 AFTER correcting the issue that it was DENIED UPON. 

First- You aren’t on the visitation list. Easy fix, request to be added. 

Second- You have been an inmate or you are currently a TDCJ employed at THE SAME UNIT you are attempting to marry an inmate at. This IS A PROBLEM. I’ve married many guards to inmates over the years but never and I MEAN NEVER have I married a guard currently employed at the same Unit the inmate is incarcerated at. Solution? Transfer Units or change jobs.

Third- Common Law Status AKA CLM to someone OTHER THAN YOU. This is the most WIDELY COMMON DENIAL  ISSUE over and over and over. 

A few months ago, a prospect wondered why I ask so many questions? I have reasons. I need to know. Upon further questioning, he said “I might be common law married.” MIGHT? I then asked him why he thought he might be married. “Well, we signed an affidavit of informal marriage.”

This gentleman aka “prospective client” was hoping I would tell him that a common-law marriage was not as good as a ceremonial one. I let him know a common-law marriage is just as good as a ceremonial marriage if the Affidavit is filed at the clerks office. 

Surprised? Don’t be. Effectively, it is also a “sucker punch” to the bride or groom who had no idea their fiancé had listed himself or herself as being Common Law Married to someone OTHER THAN THEM. 

In Texas, many people are aware that Texas recognizes common-law marriage. However, not everyone I meet with is aware of what it takes to meet the Texas statutory requirements of being common law married or why it is important.

Let’s go over and review Texas Common Law Marriage- Common law marriage, also known as marriage without formalities or informal marriage, is a valid and legal way for a couple to marry in Texas.

Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code states that a common law marriage may be proved by evidence that the couple:
“agreed to be married”; and
“after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife”; and they “represented to others that they were married.” 

It’s “tricky” to prove Common Law Marriage WITHOUT FILING an Informal Marriage Affidavit. So difficult in fact that meeting the elements WITHOUT this Affidavit can be nearly impossible. 

Most inmates and laymen alike fail to realize that such Informal Affidavits filed at a TDCJ Facility ARE NOT VALID OUTSIDE TDCJ. Texas Department Of Criminal Justice DOES NOT and CANNOT file an Informal Marriage Affidavit at the clerks office. Only both parties IN PERSON can accomplish this legally binding task. An inmate CANNOT leave prison to “run to the courthouse” and file this valid document in person. Also, and more importantly, “claiming to be living together when one party is incarcerated and you (for obvious reasons) were not living with them in prison gives you far better enlightenment as to why TDCJ REQUIRES an Informal Marriage Affidavit FOR THEIR RECORDS. Meaning not Vital Records or the clerks office. 

Of course, if an Informal Marriage Affidavit was in fact, filed at a Clerks Office with both parties present WILL legally bind a marriage that will require a divorce. The clerks office is the ONLY way a CLM is or can be legally binding. 

Such documents are (outside of Prison) called “Informal Marriage Affidavits.” If the above scenario at the clerks office with BOTH of you present HAS OCCURRED, you ARE LEGALLY MARRIED and will require a dissolution of your marriage. AKA, divorce. 

HOWEVER, this IS NOT the case within TDCJ although TDCJ recognizes a CLM Affidavit as binding. Why? Because two parties signed this document in order to OBTAIN CONTACT VISITS in the first place! 

A CLM is Notarized. Why is this important? A notary seal is used on legal documents. I.E. A CLM INSIDE TDCJ WILL PREVENT AN I60 APPROVED STATUS to anyone OTHER than the persons listed on the CLM. 

Pay attention. I go over this “CLM Sucker Punch” at least once a week trying to explain in detail with clients who feel (and rightly so) angry, betrayed and outraged to be denied based on a CLM to someone “other than them.” Secrets destroy relationships. No one “forgets” signing an affidavit that entitled them to have a contact visit. NO ONE. They might not have realized that it was binding within the TDCJ system but, they knew damn well they were signing it I can assure you. 

Frankly, I am mad for my clients! Hiding this “enlightening fact” and thinking someone (my client) a person who is giving up everything in order to marry an inmate is one of the many reasons that I’ve advised more than a few clients not to marry the inmate or at least rethink their decision before “jumping in.” Trust is essential to a working marriage. 

Although outside of Prison, this “piece of paper” won’t hold a couple legally married, inside a TDCJ Unit, it will. Solution? A Corrected Affidavit voiding the initial Affidavit filed. Or, find a partner you can trust. Let’s face it, the person on the outside MAKES all of the sacrifices. If the person on the inside cannot be forthcoming about such an important element in the Prison Wedding Planning Process, it might be time to step away and reevaluate. 

Let’s review: A Corrected Affidavit? Wendy what is that? Follow closely because you will need to understand how this unexpected hurdle occurred and more importantly, how to overcome it unless of course, you want to go attempt to locate the other party and CONVINCE them to do it. It’s best to have the inmate do it himself in the Law Library. 

An Affidavit of Correction can assist you in correcting an error on a government or court record. … The document provides notice of an error in a prior document and offers the correct information. The Affidavit of Correction is a sworn statement, so you’ll need to have it signed and sealed by a notary public. 

For all of my spies out there trying to duplicate or replicate, or copy me by obtaining my hard earned knowledge regarding legal remedies, you ARE NOT A CLIENT so go figure it out yourselves!

For my clients, don’t cry. Call me, we will work through it together. Yes, I’ve used this formula successfully again and again but unlike my snoopy spies, I know how. 

“Wendy how do you know everything there is to know?” Because dedicated clients and followers, I was reading law books in 6th grade and in my spare time, dictionaries. 

Due to a chronic stutter as a child, I rarely spoke so, to entertain myself, I read. I didn’t speak at all from 6 to 11 years old. Instead, I read. No one had the patience to listen to me try to speak so, I stopped trying. My twin sister was the only one that I even bothered to attempt to communicate with who had ANY degree of patience for my speech impairment. Also, she spoke for me (when necessary) during those years. 

Yes, there was a “reason” that I stopped speaking coherently. The reason was that on our 6th birthday while the rest of our family was off on East North St planning our first ever birthday party, my grandfather sexually assaulted my sister and I. I hated my family for not protecting my sisters and I. Somehow in my own way, I believed that by ignoring them as they had ignored what was happening to us is what they deserved. 

The impatience of having people (especially the one who had hurt and continued to hurt us) scream “spit it out! I don’t have all day,” was why I chose to not bother speaking at all. Cindy loved tv to escape while I chose reading. 

At 11 years old, I spoke for the first time after reading aloud a number of years to myself and singing along to songs when I was alone with my sisters. The first sentence? “Take one you cheap bastard.” I was reading a cigarette case which belonged to my grandfather who actually was a bastard. Even at 11 years old, the irony of reading a cigarette case to the very same person I knew to be an F ing bastard was a moment that I had spent years waiting for. You see, I listen and because I listen, I often “spot” things such as that innocent cigarette package and then wait for an opportunity to disclose my knowledge in often surprising fashions. I notice all of the details and can recall documents years after reading them once. While other children were playing, I was preparing for life. 

A life that would put me in a position to be earning over 100k by the time I was 23 years old. Not because “I was lucky” either. That’s one of the stupidest assumptions I’ve ever heard. If anyone knew the actual details of my life, they’d realize right off that Cindy and I are the Five Percentile. Never heard of it? Most sexual and physical abuse victims become alcoholics or drug addicts if not suicides. Five percent of these individuals can effectively disassociate the trauma. It’s quite rare and in fact, had we been older at the time of the initial abuse, we might not have so easily overcome it. If I’ve ever been lucky, it was because I could put what we had survived away in a box and lock it in order to represent to the world that I had a worry free life. This was essential in order to model and do commercial work. While others were snorting cocaine, I was reading law books from other countries. Lucky? What a cheap and insignificant term. 

The abuse from our grandfather would go on until we left home at 15 with the clothes on our backs. Buckle Up- I was pregnant. Many of you already know how. I will spare you the details. My family wanted an abortion. I didn’t. Cindy fearful of me running away to be homeless and alone, joined me. When others question why we are so close, they have no idea just how close we actually are.

We lived in a homeless shelter and I lost the baby. We were never going back. We both took jobs as waitresses and got by until my first commercial with Mel Tillis for Whataburger. I was 18 years old. 

Yes, I’m a survivor. My sister is too. The greatest gift I’ve ever had was the death of my grandfather who had destroyed so many lives and yet, was never held accountable. 

My twin and I are passionate and obsessively empathetic SOLELY because of where we have been and what we have survived. 

You will never meet anyone who cares more about you as a client than my family and I do. We treat clients like the family we wish we had but didn’t. 

The things people don’t know about me are far more enlightening than what they assume. I knew no one could take an education from me and at a young age, began learning everything I could. If I couldn’t find something, I even read phone books but, my mind stayed occupied to move my focus from the environment that my sister and I were effectively forced to live within as a children. 

I’ve always studied every element of any industry that I have ever worked within. I knew how to file warranties, special orders and every element of any industry often better than anyone including the owners or manufactures. I could whip through a GM Certification test (while selling Cadillac’s) in 17 minutes. Other salesmen? Hours and even days. They finally passed by failing it so many times they got it right. While begging me to help them, I also taught a few smart asses on the sales floor that 1. I don’t have friends at work. I’m not there to make friends or date and 2. I’m the hardest working MF they would ever meet. I’m so GD dedicated that I never ever left a sales floor to go to lunch. I ate and sold and the same mother fucking time. You will never encounter anyone in your life as dedicated to their clients as I am. EVER. 

While the other salesmen were gabbing on the phone or reading newspapers, I was reading manuals. I had the time because unlike them, I also hired a photographer and ran my own ads at Country Clubs direct marketing consumers who could afford to buy. They bought from me. I was the North Texas top GM salesperson every year I worked for Cadillac. The salesmen laughed at my ads. I laughed all the way to the F ing bank. Yes. What you don’t know about me is that I have never been lazy. I left Cadillac and started my own business, Debt Lawsuit Survival LLC. In 2012, I sold it and started Texas Twins Events. No one in my life has ever GIVEN me anything. 

I’m self made and successful because my clients all of my years in sales, followed me and continued to buy from me long after the sale. Cadillac Clients booked at Texas Twins Events. Shocked? Don’t be. People and education are valuable commodities that no one can take from you. Trust me. I know this to be true. 

Unlike my spies aka “other Officiants,” I also know how to file an Amended Marriage License too. 

Before you start Googling, I will explain what an Amended Petition actually is. By the way spies, I HAVE NEVER MADE A MISTAKE on a marriage license because unlike you “other Officiants” when I initially “went into this business 9 years ago,” it was after reading any and all laws pertaining to or associated with signing a marriage license as well as educating myself to “unique situations” such as an Amended Petition. 

In California at a Destination Wedding for Texas Twins Events, the groom asked a question and disrupted me as I was supervising both of the witnesses. 

Here’s are a sequence of photos capturing the “moment.” I always have a camera pointed at me so, we will go in sequence. Watch the bride.Below though, the bride instantly realizes the second witness “marked out” her old address. The bride is well aware (because the clerk had enlightened her) that any marks outside the lines and heaven forbid, corrections would void the license. 

You CANNOT CORRECT a legal document. Meaning, you cannot mark through anything previously written. 

My bride immediately started screaming “you just ruined my wedding!” The second witness, horrified and unaware of the magnitude of the issue, apologized. But, an apology will not correct a legal document. Only I can do that. 

With over 200 guests staring at my traumatized bride who was also furious at her brothers girlfriend, I “whisked her” into a private area to explain how I could fix the issue. Photo below. The bride recognizing I knew exactly how to resolve the issue and now no longer upset, returned to the party. 

Note: It took me five or 6 minutes to explain the remedy. I’m everyone’s mother and also the “fixer.” My production company had me  change clothes to film this conversation for another film project. I’m in my vestment specifically for this reason. Naturally, I didn’t allow filming to commence until I had assured my bride and calmed her down. This is why the photo is taken of her back and my face. I always put my clients needs first. You will never ever be filming a project with me where you are seen upset. I wrap my arm around you and whisk you off instead as I did in California.

I change clothing up to 5 and even 7 times during filming. It’s irritating but, its show business. PS- this was supposed to be a perfect wedding and, it wasn’t.

But, the bride was now confident that she needn’t worry and, as always she was correct. 

My numerous roles are serious. I’m beyond educated as to ANY situation. I’ve also officiated over 2k wedding ceremonies worldwide. Moments after enlightening my bride, the party went on.As you can see of the photo of me above (far left black skirt) I wasn’t worried at all. 

The following week, I flew back to Santa Barbara County, Amended the license and drove to film for Lifetime in LA with Cindy and Cat Deeley. 

I can laugh because I’m smart, I know what I’m doing and I never make mistakes. “Other Officiants” often do but, rest assured that everyone on MY TEAM is well educated by me. I’m a helluva teacher. 

While my spies are out there “winging it” and screwing up marriage licenses, I was (as usual) laughing about anyone (other Officiants) stupid enough to believe that by signing a legally binding license without realizing the legal ramifications associated with their “role” isn’t serious because it is.
The continued rampant stupidity of my spies “other Officiants” continues to tickle me. “It’s just a piece of paper. How SERIOUS can it be?” You IDIOTS. It’s a Life Event. 

Also, screwing up a wedding license can and will get you sued. What? If you make a mistake and ruin someone’s wedding who hired you while spending tens of thousands of dollars, you (spies) are going to get sued. However, I readily realize you “newbies” don’t have the client base I do so you are protected in that you will never find yourself at such high end events as I’m regularly retained to Officiate. I earned my client base the hard way by my stellar reputation. 

I’ve taught marriage fraud classes and I’ve also been a premarital counselor with Twogether In Texas from the inception of the program. 

FYI spies, if you make a mistake on a marriage license, after your 3rd “mistake” you lose your right to perform a marriage ceremony. 

Also, if you FAIL to file a marriage license within 30 days of signing it, it is a criminal offense in numerous states including Texas. 

While I would LOVE to expedite the process of the I60, it’s something even I cannot control. I appreciate your patience and look forward to your wedding day just as much as you do….