Enforcement of Unpaid Obligations in Texas Divorce Decree
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2w ago
If a parent does not comply with a Texas custody or child support order, the other parent may seek enforcement of the court order and, in some cases, request the parent be held in contempt.  A father recently challenged an order granting the mother’s motion to enforce the divorce decree. When the parties divorced, one of their two children was still a minor.  Pursuant to the divorce decree,  the parties were required to equally share health care costs, the cost of a vehicle, and college fund for the minor child.  The decree also ordered the father to pay for the minor child ..read more
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Texas Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal of Grandmother’s Petition for Visitation
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2w ago
Pursuant to Tex. Fam. Code § 153.432, a grandparent who meets certain requirements has standing to file suit for possession or access to their grandchild.  The grandparent must sign an affidavit “on knowledge or belief” that alleges that denial of possession or access would significantly impair the physical health or emotional well-being of the child and provides supporting facts.  The trial court then has to determine if those allegations would be sufficient to grant possession or access under Section 153.433. If not, the trial court must dismiss the grandparent’s suit. Parents have ..read more
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Texas Appeals Court Upholds Order Making Ex-Husband Liable for Salary Payments
McClure Law Group Blog
by Francesca Blackard
2w ago
A court may render orders to enforce or clarify the property division in a Texas divorce decree, but generally may not render an order that makes substantive changes to the property division once it is final.  A former husband recently challenged a clarification order, arguing it improperly modified the decree. Divorce Decree According to the appeals court, the parties were married for more than 15 years when they got divorced in 2018.  The agreed divorce decree referenced a “privately held compan[y]” that employed them both.  The decree awarded all ownership interest in the com ..read more
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Texas Appeals Court Affirms Spousal Maintenance Modification
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2w ago
A spouse paying Texas spousal maintenance may seek modification if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances, which may include significant change in their income.  In a recent case, a former husband challenged a modification award based on the modified amount of maintenance as well as the court’s denial of his request to apply the modification retroactively. The parties’ 2011 Agreed Final Divorce Decree ordered the husband to pay $1,150 in monthly spousal maintenance until the wife remarried or died or until her disability was removed or the trial court otherwise ..read more
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Texas Court Cannot Consider Extrinsic Evidence in Collateral Attack on Custody Jurisdiction
McClure Law Group Blog
by Francesca Blackard
2w ago
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”), codified in Chapter 152 of the Texas Family Code addresses how to determine jurisdiction in custody matters involving more than one state.  Generally, a Texas trial court that made a custody determination consistent with § 152.201 or 152.203 retains continuing jurisdiction until a court makes certain determinations regarding a lack of significant connection to the state or residence.  Tex. Fam. Code § 152.202. In a recent case, a mother appealed following a modification, arguing the trial court had not acquired cu ..read more
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Texas Court Denies Ex-Wife Postjudgment Interest on Accounts Awarded in Divorce
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2w ago
Appeals of a Texas divorce can be lengthy and may sometimes result in a significant delay in a party receiving the assets they were awarded in the decree.  In some cases, courts may award postjudgment interest on a money judgment.  In a recent case, a Texas appeals court considered whether an award of a brokerage account in a divorce property division authorized postjudgment interest. Case History According to the appeals court’s opinion, the parties got married in the early 1990s and divorced in 2018.  The decree awarded the wife two investment accounts, together valued at $548 ..read more
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Texas Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Jury Charge in Divorce Case
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2M ago
In a jury trial, the court must submit to the jury the instructions and definitions needed for it to render a verdict.  The court cannot comment directly on the weight of the evidence, but an incidental comment on the weight of the evidence may be acceptable.  Tex. R. Civ. P. 277. A husband recently appealed his divorce decree, arguing the trial court erred in failing to give a requested jury instruction and improperly commenting on the weight of the evidence. The Trial According to the appeals court, the husband petitioned for divorce in August 2019, seeking a disproportionate share ..read more
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Fraud on the Community in Texas Divorce
McClure Law Group Blog
by Francesca Blackard
2M ago
Spouses have a fiduciary duty toward each other with regard to the community estate and commit fraud on the community if they breach a legal or equitable duty in violation of the fiduciary relationship.  Fraud on the community often occurs when assets are transferred to a third party, but can also occur when it is unaccounted for. If a court determines a spouse committed fraud, it must determine the amount the community estate was depleted and the total value it would have had absent the fraud.  The trial court then divides the reconstituted estate in a just and right manner, which m ..read more
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Texas Court Made Improper Substantive Change to Property Division with Order Striking Dollar Amounts
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2M ago
A trial court in a Texas divorce retains subject matter jurisdiction to enforce a decree or to clarify ambiguity in the decree.  Texas strongly favors finality of judgment, so the court may not make substantive changes to the property division in a divorce decree once it has become final.  The court does not have the authority to “amend, modify, alter, or change” the final property division despite errors in characterizing the property or applying the law.   The court may, however, issue orders to clarify an ambiguous decree or to enforce the decree.  A court interpret ..read more
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Texas Appeals Court Affirms Custody Modification Contrary to Child’s Preference
McClure Law Group Blog
by Kelly McClure
2M ago
In a Texas nonjury custody proceeding, upon the request of a party or certain other interested individuals, the court must interview a child who is at least 12 years old or may interview a child under 12 in chambers to determine their wishes regarding conservatorship or the person who will have the exclusive right to determine their primary residence.  Tex. Fam. Code § 153.009(a).  The interview is intended to help the court make determinations regarding conservatorship and possession, but the court still has discretion to determine the child’s best interest.  Tex. Fam. Code § 1 ..read more
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