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In a recent Texas child custody decision, the court considered a situation in which the mother was given the exclusive right to designate the daughter’s primary residence within Tarrant County, Collin County, or a contiguous county to the latter. In a modification order, the court gave the father the exclusive right to designate her primary residence within Dallas County or a contiguous county.

The child was born to a married couple in 2008, and they later divorced. The father asked the court to modify the parent-child relationship. The judge issued a memorandum on the same day as the trial but didn’t sign a written order for about a month. The order granted the father’s requested remedy by providing that the daughter’s residence could be established in Tarrant County, Collin County, or a contiguous county to the latter and setting an expanded standard possession order.

The mother appealed this order. Subsequently, the father tried to enforce the order. He claimed the mother hadn’t established their daughter’s home in the appropriate county and inappropriately kept him from the daughter on 17 occasions. At the enforcement hearing, the mother and father told the court they’d come to an agreement. They had agreed the parents would stay joint managing conservators, with the father having exclusive rights to designate the daughter’s primary residence within Dallas or a county contiguous to it. The mother was going to get standard visitation for parents whose own homes are 100 miles from their child’s.

The attorneys for the parents represented this would be a new final order. The judge made that the order of the court. Four days later, the father petitioned for a modification, asking that the father have the right to determine the daughter’s primary residence. The mother filed a denial and then filed a combined motion to withdraw consent to the agreement and to move to modify an order arising out of the agreement. She provided a declaration in which she claimed to have signed the earlier agreement as a result of the father’s duress.

The parents testified at a hearing on the father’s motion. The judge decided she hadn’t revoked the agreement. The court’s order named both parents as joint managing conservators and provided the father with the exclusive right to decide the daughter’s primary residence in specific counties. The mother was given possession for one weekend a month, which is standard for a parent living more than 100 miles from a residence. The judge’s factual findings and legal conclusions explained that the child’s circumstances as well as her parents’ had significantly changed since the date of the prior order, and the agreed-upon plan was in the child’s best interests.

The mother appealed the modification order, arguing that there was no jurisdiction, insufficient evidence of a material and substantial change in circumstances, and insufficient proof that the father should have the exclusive right to select the daughter’s primary residence.

The appellate court explained that the trial court did have jurisdiction to render a new order. The lower court found there was a material and substantial change in the parents’ and daughter’s circumstances, and the appellate court explained that the family code had at least four independent grounds for modifying child custody:  the parents’ agreement, the child’s preference, voluntary relinquishment, and a substantial, material change of circumstances. The appellate court found that the written agreement supported the lower court’s order. It also explained that the lower court had broad discretion to decide which conservator had the exclusive right to determine a child’s primary residence. To modify the order, the lower court had to find that a modification was in the child’s best interests.

The court identified factors that would go into a best-interest decision and noted that the state’s policy was to make sure that kids would have frequent, continuing contact with parents who show the capacity to act in the child’s best interests. In this case, the parents had testified about best interests, and the appellate court found that the evidence was enough to support the lower court’s finding. The mother had moved outside the geographic limits of the order, and the father testified he didn’t even know the location. Based on the evidence, the lower court could reasonably conclude that providing the father with the exclusive right to pick the child’s primary residence would promote her having contact with both parents often enough and was in the child’s best interest.

If your divorce involves matters related to child custody, call the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas alimony decision, an ex-husband appealed the granting of spousal maintenance to his ex-wife. The couple had married in 2005. The man sued for divorce 10 years later. The woman claimed that the formal marriage had occurred in 2005, but they had married in 1999 when she was 16. They had two kids.

Around age 16, she lived with the man and his son. She was prevented from working, and he paid all of the bills and paid for food, while she cleaned and cooked and went to parent-teacher meetings for her stepson. She did finish high school and took classes to become a surgical technologist, even though she claimed she wasn’t allowed to work outside the house. She almost finished the program but was stopped from finishing by her husband. She testified later she couldn’t go back and finish the program because students weren’t allowed to re-enter after dropping out.

Once the husband sued for divorce, she worked as a waitress and then in retail. She got under $2,000 in monthly income, and her expenses were almost twice that. She didn’t have enough money, even with child support being paid, to cover her reasonable needs. She also said she didn’t have the education necessary for a better job. She estimated that getting the education she needed while caring for two kids would take five or six years, due to clinical hours.

Meanwhile, CPS had required her to get a full-time job that stopped her from retraining herself, and to stop working in retail would violate the CPS service plan. She eventually clarified that she’d had to drop out of school because she’d missed too many classes, and she made some ambiguous remarks in connection with whether her husband had stopped her from finishing the program.

The husband disagreed that she cooked for him or that he prevented her from finishing school. He claimed that she missed classes due to drunkenness and that he’d never stopped her from getting a job. The lower court ordered spousal maintenance in an amount under $1,500 per month. The husband appealed.

The appellate court conducted a factual sufficiency review. The husband had argued that the wife hadn’t rebutted the presumption against alimony. She’d tried to find better work only once. The appellate court explained that the lower court could award spousal maintenance at its discretion when someone asking for alimony meets the eligibility criteria found in Texas Family Code section 8.051. This section found that in a divorce, the spouse seeking maintenance has to be married for 10 years or longer and have an inability to get enough income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.

The husband didn’t argue on appeal or at trial that she wasn’t eligible under this code section, but he did disagree about whether she overcame the rebuttable presumption that maintenance wouldn’t be warranted except when a spouse used diligence to get enough income for minimum reasonable needs or for developing skills needed to provide for those needs during a period of separation.

An eligible spouse can rebut the presumption by showing diligence in earning income or developing necessary skills. In this case, there was conflicting evidence about whether the husband had allowed the wife to work. She’d testified about her jobs and tried to find a better job but didn’t have the education.

Based on the evidence, the appellate court couldn’t say there was an abuse of discretion at the lower level. The evidence showed she’d tried to develop skills but had been stopped by the CPS requirement. The lower court had ordered alimony that would terminate in five years. The husband argued that this was too long. The appellate court overruled this issue on the basis that the lower court had heard evidence it would take her five years to finish an educational program while also having a job and taking care of kids. It affirmed.

It is important to secure legal representation for divorce proceedings to make sure your rights are protected. If you need to get a divorce, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas property division case, an ex-husband appealed a final divorce decree on the basis of five issues. The case arose when a couple married in 1992. The wife filed for divorce in 2013, claiming the husband had cheated on her. She asked for a disproportionate share of the marital estate due to fault for the marriage breaking up, as well as a disparity in the spouses’ earning power and their ability to support themselves.

The husband filed a general denial and counterclaim and also asked for a disproportionate share of the marital estate. The lower court granted the divorce on the ground of adultery. The husband was awarded as separate property an undivided interest in a funeral home business, the land on which it was located, and two adjacent tracts. The wife was also awarded an undivided interest in the funeral home, the land, and the adjacent land. The lower court awarded her the marital home and an insurance check as well. The husband asked for findings of fact and conclusions of law. None were filed, and he didn’t file a notice of past due findings.

He appealed. The appellate court explained that during a divorce, the court must order a division of the estate in a way that is just and right with due respect to each party’s rights under Texas Family Code section 7.001. The appellate court found it should reverse a property division ruling only if the mistake materially affected the lower court’s just and right division of property.

The husband argued that it was improper for the lower court to refuse to prepare findings and conclusions. However, the appellate court found he waived his right to complain by not raising this issue and reiterating the request.

The husband also argued it was an abuse of discretion for the lower court to award the marital home and insurance check to his wife, since they were community property due to be equally divided. He also argued it was inappropriate for his wife to get an undivided interest in the funeral home and land, since they were his separate property.

The appellate court reasoned that the lower court wasn’t required to divide it equally but could order an unequal division when there was a reasonable basis to do that. Factors to be considered included the parties’ abilities, benefits, education, physical conditions, the separate estate’s size, the nature of the property, and their disparity in earning abilities. The court could also consider the fault of the cheating spouse if fault was pled.

The appellate court reasoned that property possessed by either spouse during a divorce is presumed to be community property under Texas Fam. Code section 3.003 (a). If there are doubts about the character of property, they are supposed to be resolved in favor of the community estate. When divorcing, the characterization of property is determined by time and circumstances. To overcome the presumption that property is community property, the spouse who is claiming it’s separate property needs to trace and identify which property is claimed to be separate.

In this case, the husband claimed his father gave him the funeral home and land tracts as gifts. Both him and his father testified it was a gift during trial, and the wife testified she didn’t have personal knowledge about their discussions. However, the husband didn’t submit documents to show his acquisition of the funeral home or its incorporation, which he claimed was evidence that it was a gift.

The appellate court found that the husband’s testimony about the funeral home and real property wasn’t enough to be considered clear and convincing evidence rebutting the community presumption and establishing the characterization of the property as separate.

The appellate court determined that evidence showed that the funeral home, land, marital home, and insurance check were community property. It also found that the lower court had broad discretion to consider the husband’s commission of adultery. Therefore, it determined that the lower court hadn’t abused its discretion in awarding the marital home and insurance check to the wife.

The judgment was affirmed.

If your divorce involves matters related to property distribution, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas divorce decision, a woman appealed from a no-answer default divorce judgment that concluded her marriage. The couple had married in 2002 and had two kids. In 2013, the father petitioned for divorce and asked for a disproportionate percentage of the marital estate. He wanted to be appointed the sole managing conservator of the kids with the mother being ordered to pay him child support and obtain a life insurance policy on herself, naming him the sole beneficiary.

A return of service was filed that showed the mother was personally served. However, the mother didn’t answer or appear. The record was minimal until the father got a hearing to obtain a default judgment. Only he appeared. He testified as to what he believed had happened in connection with the separation. He claimed the mother had moved to another state, and she hadn’t seen the kids since moving but called the kids on the phone. He testified he had no insurance for the kids. He didn’t offer further evidence by testimony or through documentary proof.

Afterwards, the court signed a divorce decree that divided the marital property and appointed the father sole managing conservator for both kids. It ordered the mother to pay child support and awarded her retroactive child support. Additionally, retroactive medical support was ordered, and the mother was required to buy a life insurance policy on herself in which the father would be named sole beneficiary.

There was a clause stating that the parties warranted there were no obligations not mentioned in the decree, and they agreed to indemnify each other. Another clause stated they’d both read the judgment and found it to be a just and right division of their joint property. It said they both signed voluntarily, but the mother’s signature wasn’t there.

The mother appealed. She argued there was insufficient evidence to support the property distribution, the attorneys’ fees award, and the other orders against her.

The appellate court explained that under section 6.701 of the Texas Family Code, a petition can’t be taken as confessed when the other spouse doesn’t file a formal answer. The father had to give evidence to support his major claims, even though she hadn’t answered. The appellate court reviewed under an abuse-of-discretion standard with two parts. One was whether the lower court had enough evidence upon which to use its discretion and the other was whether the lower court had made a mistake in applying its discretion to the facts.

The mother argued that the lower court abused its discretion because there wasn’t any evidence on which it could base its division of the marital estate, and the appellate court agreed. Under Section 7.001 of the Texas Family Code, the lower court was supposed to make a just and right division of community property in which it paid attention to the parties’ rights and those of the children of the marriage.

Although it had wide latitude, dividing the property was an abuse of discretion if there wasn’t enough evidence to support the decision. It also reversed the child support award because this award could be materially influenced by how the marital estate was divided. The appellate court also agreed with the mother there was no evidence to support the indemnification clause.

It is important to secure legal representation for divorce proceedings to make sure your rights are protected. If you need to get a divorce, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas property division decision, a woman appealed from a final divorce decree. A couple had been married about 30 years when the husband petitioned for divorce. The wife was incarcerated. At a divorce hearing, she appeared without a lawyer and by telephone because of her incarceration. The lower court gave her 15 days to file exhibits and permitted the husband another 15 days to object. The wife sent copies of her exhibits and also sent a settlement offer to the husband’s attorney. There were no objections to the copy she filed with the court, or any of her exhibits submitted to the court.

Her divorce was granted, and the community real property and other assets were ordered to be sold with the proceeds split between the husband and the wife equally. The wife appealed, complaining of mistakes about how the property was divided.

The appellate court explained that the court can divide the community estate during a divorce under Texas Family Code section 7.001. It cannot divide separate property. The appellate court that reviews property distribution is supposed to look at whether there was enough evidence upon which the lower court could exercise discretion, and whether the lower court erred in applying its discretion.

The wife argued that the trial court had failed to dispose of a homestead and the land on which it sat, as well as bank accounts, a retirement account, burial plots, and 28 acres’ worth of mineral rights. The couple’s home sat on 3.06 acres of land. The wife testified that the parties had an additional acre, but no documentation was submitted to that effect. The appellate court found that the trial court was entitled to believe the evidence submitted by the husband and disregard her testimony. It had ordered the property described in the deed to be sold and the funds from the sale divided equally.

The husband testified that he had a bank account with $1,500 and that he had no other accounts. She argued that there were other accounts but didn’t provide documentation to support this claim. The appellate court again found the trial court could believe her husband.

The husband testified that he had two retirement accounts in one plan. The wife claimed there was another retirement account that was not disclosed, but she didn’t have evidence of another retirement account. The order awarded her 50% interest in her husband’s retirement savings plan and pension plan. The appellate court found that the lower court was entitled to believe the husband’s testimony that he didn’t have another retirement account.

The appellate court explained that the couple owned 28.02 acres of land. The wife testified there was money in escrow for mineral rights on the property, but she didn’t testify or present discussion of the disposition of the mineral rights, and she didn’t put the deed to the property in the record. The lower court ordered the sale of the property. Without clarifying language, the court interpreted that the decree ordered the sale of the mineral rights if any were reflected in the deed, as well as the land itself.

The wife claimed in her settlement offer that she’d paid for two burial plots. However, evidence about these plots wasn’t presented at the hearing. Under Texas Health and Safety Code sections 711.038-.039, a cemetery organization was required to give a certificate of ownership showing the conveyance of a burial right, which had to be filed and recorded in its office. Without evidence on the certificate of ownership in this case, the court presumed the two plots were community property. The divorce decree stated that any property that wasn’t divided by decree was awarded to whoever was in possession. The appellate court concluded whoever had the certificate of ownership would be considered the party in possession.

The wife also argued there was an abuse of discretion in that the lower court awarded her separate property to her husband. The appellate court explained there was a presumption that all property was community property, and to overcome that presumption, whichever spouse claimed specific items were separate property would have to trace and identify them. The wife argued that her dad had given her jewelry and sold her guns that were her separate property. There was no inventory of this separate property. She didn’t testify to substantiate the separate property claims, and her inventory in a settlement offer couldn’t be construed as the clear and convincing evidence needed to overcome the community property presumption.

The lower court’s judgment was affirmed.

If your divorce involves matters related to property distribution, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas divorce case, a couple was divorced in 2006. The wife initiated divorce proceedings, and the couple went to mediation. They agreed on a divorce decree and split a house and lot 50-50. The order included a procedure for selling the property, which was that the property was to be listed with a realtor. The realtor would select a price that was at least $77,000. The sale price would be reduced below $77,000 only by written agreement. If there was an offer that met the $77,000 threshold, both parties still had to accept it.

The husband had the right of first refusal of a bona fide offer by paying the woman half of the offer, minus the mortgage amount and 6% realtor fee. Either of the spouses could ask the court to appoint a receiver. The agreement also stated that if the husband failed to pay his wife half of the equity in the house within 30 days of an offer being made, the house would be sold for the offer made, with the couple splitting the funds remaining equally after the costs of the sale were paid.

When the ex-husband died in 2016, the ex-wife sued to enforce the divorce decree. She alleged that the husband had died, and the executrix of his estate had deeded the property to herself as an individual. The independent executrix of the ex-husband’s estate responded. She argued that the ex-wife wasn’t entitled to the relief she sought because the trial court didn’t have jurisdiction, and the claim was barred totally or partially by the statute of limitations or laches.

At a hearing, the ex-wife testified that she and her husband had agreed to sell the property. After the decree was signed, her son lived on the property, and during that time, she didn’t want to ask for the property to be sold. She learned that her ex-husband had died from her son and went to get a deed for the property. She saw her name was no longer on the house, and the executrix of the husband’s estate was the listed owner. The attorney for the estate asked whether the ex-wife had made mortgage or tax payments after the divorce decree, but she successfully objected to these questions on the basis of relevance. A receiver was appointed to sell the property.

The executrix appealed the order that appointed a receiver, arguing that the order altered the husband’s rights obtained during the divorce. The intermediate appellate court affirmed.

The husband’s estate argued that the lower court didn’t have jurisdiction over the ex-wife’s motion to appoint a receiver because the motion related to a secured claim that fell within the definition of a matter relating to probate. The appellate court explained that a court that enters a divorce decree continues to have the power to enforce property division in the decree under Texas Family Code section 9.002.

The estate argued the probate court had exclusive jurisdiction because the executrix, who was the husband’s surviving spouse, had a life estate interest in the property. The appellate court explained the ex-wife wasn’t trying to partition the property as an heir, but as a tenant in common. Even if the second wife had a homestead right, it was subordinate to the first wife’s right to partition the property. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s judgment.

If your divorce involves matters related to property distribution, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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A recent Texas divorce appeal arose after a wife filed for a protective order against her husband. She asked for the protective order after her husband and her father had a physical fight at a pet cemetery when the group was trying to bury a dead family dog. Divorce proceedings had commenced by then.

At the graveyard were the husband and wife, their children, the wife’s father, and his wife. While the husband and father were digging with their shovels, the father’s shovel touched the husband’s scalp. He apologized to the husband and said it was an accident. However, the father didn’t believe the apology, and a fight broke out. The father was hit and kicked by his son-in-law, who later claimed he acted in self-defense. The trial judge determined that the husband had perpetrated family violence and would likely do so again. The wife was awarded a protective order and attorney’s fees.

The husband argued that there wasn’t enough legal or factual evidence to support the order and appealed. He argued it should be reversed. The appellate court explained it would need to decide whether the evidence submitted would allow a reasonable fact finder to get to the same conclusion. If it would, the evidence was enough to support the finding. In looking at whether the evidence was factually sufficient, it didn’t need to defer to the evidence that supported the decision. Instead, it had to consider all of the evidence in a neutral light and decide whether the finding cut so far against the preponderance of evidence as to be manifestly unjust or wrong.

A court can provide a protective order under Section 85.001(b) and Section 81.001 of the Family Code when it finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to happen in the future. Family violence can include any act by a family or household member against someone else in the family or household, when the act is intended to result in bodily injuries, physical harm, assault, sexual assault, or is threatening such that it reasonably makes the family member fear an imminent injury or assault. It doesn’t include measures of self-defense.

The appellate court examined the record to look at whether the father counted within the scope of the family. At the time of the fight, the husband and wife were married, and the wife’s father was the husband’s in-law. The appellate court found that this put him within the scope. Family violence excludes self-defense, and the court found that in spite of the husband’s disbelief in the father’s apology, the evidence showed the father had apologized, and the defensive steps weren’t necessary because the contact was accidental. The husband started hitting the father anyway. There was also evidence that while they were digging, the husband cried, disparaged the wife, and chest-bumped the father, whom he called a liar.

The appellate court found that it didn’t matter that the police found the father to be credible, since they weren’t actually there and didn’t see the fight. They were also not fact-finders at the trial, and the judge was entitled to reject their testimony.

The father argued the evidence wasn’t enough to show a likely recurrence of family violence. The court explained that past violent conduct could be competent evidence that is enough to sustain a protective order. In addition to the evidence of the pet cemetery fight, there was also evidence of the father shoving the wife to the ground, texting her repeatedly while ignoring her requests that he stop harassing her, going into the father’s home uninvited after the divorce started, and following the wife.

The protective order was affirmed.

Family violence and a protective order can have an impact on your Texas divorce case.

If you need to get a divorce, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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It is crucial to retain an experienced Texas child custody attorney and obtain a clear record at the lower court level. In a recent Texas appellate decision, a mother appealed from a court’s decision in a lawsuit to modify the parent-child relationship. She argued that she and the father shouldn’t have been named joint managing conservators with her access being supervised. She also argued that the access the trial court gave was below the minimum access established by the Family Code’s standard possession order. She further argued that evidence wasn’t identified.

The case arose when a child’s parents divorced in 2011. The court appointed the parents as joint managing conservators. The mother had the right to decide the primary residence of the child, while the father simply had the right to visit. Three years later, the father petitioned for a modification, wanting the exclusive right to decide the child’s primary residence. He asked the court to deny the mother access or that her visits be supervised on the grounds that she physically abused the child, smoked and drank too much around the child, and moved around the city and had pulled the child out of school multiple times. The father also claimed the child was terrified of the mother’s new husband.

The lower court granted the father’s request. The mother appealed. She didn’t file a reporter’s record or follow the proper procedure, but she presumed the proof submitted supported the order. The appellate court explained that the child’s best interest is the lower court’s main consideration when deciding conservatorship under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.002. The lower court can modify possession or access only when it’s in the child’s best interests, and the child’s circumstances have materially and substantially changed.

The appellate court explained that if asked, the court was supposed to state in its order why it had deviated from a standard order under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.258. In this case, the mother didn’t ask for reasons. The mother had the burden on appeal to show that there’d been a mistake that required reversal. Therefore, the court had to presume the evidence supported the lower court’s grant of the petition to modify.

The mother also argued that the order hadn’t met the minimum requirements set forth for possession of a child in a standard possession order. The appellate court explained these guidelines were put in place to provide guidance about minimum possession for a joint managing conservator. The mother argued the order needed to be specific about its times and conditions. Since there was no reporter’s record, however, the appellate court had to presume the evidence supported the order.

The mother also argued it was an error for the trial court to sign an order that failed to identify evidence submitted. The appellate court again explained that when an order is different from a standard possession order, either party can ask the court to give its reasons for deviating from the standard under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.258. In this case, the record didn’t include a written request, and there was no reporter’s record to decide whether the mother had made an oral request. The lower court affirmed the appellate court’s orders.

If you need to get a child custody arrangement determined, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

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In a recent Texas property division decision, an ex-husband tried to reverse a property distribution order issued as part of a divorce. The couple married in 2012, after the husband had bought a tractor and multiple attachments from a dealership. The husband had signed a five-year note to finance a portion of the purchase price of the equipment. The couple separated in 2014 when the wife sued him for divorce.

They both claimed that they owned certain items of property before marrying and that these should be considered separate property. The husband took issue with the court’s treatment of the tractor he’d bought, as well as the characterization of his bonus, received in May 2014 as community property. He argued that he earned the bonus based on a project that started before his marriage.

At trial, the wife gave the court an inventory of community property and her separate property. She listed the tractor as an asset over which she and her husband had a dispute. She said that the husband gave her the tractor as a gift before they married. Documents showed he’d bought the tractor close to a year before marriage, and he made all of the monthly payments since the sale.

However, the wife had two witnesses, his mother and a fence-builder, who testified that the tractor was a gift from the husband to the wife. The fence-builder testified that the husband had told him he was getting the tractor as a Christmas present, and that after it came to the farm owned by the wife’s father, he started using it. The mother testified that after the tractor was purchased, the husband asked her whether he’d seen what he got for the wife for Christmas, which referred to the tractor. The wife also testified that the tractor was given to her around Christmas of the year he bought it so that she could clear land. Additionally, there was testimony that they were remodeling a farm her father owned but didn’t farm.

However, the husband testified that he didn’t recall either of the conversations mentioned by the mother or the fence-builder and denied he would’ve gotten the wife a $30,000 present prior to their marriage. He also pointed to buying the tractor in his name and the gift he did give her, which was a bracelet and ring that was wrapped. He testified that the tractor wasn’t wrapped, nor did it come with a card to show he meant it as a gift. He did agree that when he bought it, it was for using it on the farm his wife’s father owned, which was overgrown and out of use.

The wife claimed the 2014 bonus as community property and wanted the court to make an equal division. The husband asked that the bonus be prorated over the four-year and eight-month period in which he claimed the bonus was earned while he worked on a project. The husband characterized a portion of it, slightly more than 80%, as separate property. The wife testified he didn’t know about the bonus until the project was over, so he didn’t earn it over the course of the project. The trial court characterized the tractor as separate property, although it allocated the remaining balance as the husband’s separate debt. It characterized the bonus as community property, which it divided evenly.

The appellate court explained that the wife had to present clear and convincing evidence that the husband intended to gift the tractor to her, that it was delivered, and that she accepted it, to overcome the presumption that the tractor was community property. The appellate court found there were conflicts in the testimony, but they weren’t severe enough to require the court to disregard the conclusion that the tractor was a gift. It also explained that since the bonus was paid while the couple was married, the lower court could presume it was community property, and the husband bore the burden of showing it was separate property or should be prorated. He didn’t meet that burden.

The lower court’s ruling was affirmed.

If your divorce involves matters related to property distribution, contact the Texas attorneys at the McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

More Blog Posts:

Grandparents Seek Court-Ordered Visitation in Texas, April 20, 2017

Texas Spousal Maintenance for a Disabled Spouse, March 17, 2017

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In a recent Texas spousal maintenance case, a husband appealed from a final divorce decree. He claimed the court made a mistake by awarding the wife $1,500 in spousal maintenance, awarding temporary spousal support of $2,500 each month, ordering him to pay $20,000 in delinquent temporary spousal support payments, failing to issue appropriate factual and legal findings, and failing to award him property he believed was solely his separate property.

In 2014, the parties agreed in court that the husband would pay the wife $2,500 each month before the divorce as temporary alimony. The wife asked for the entry of an order reflecting that. However, the husband filed a proposed rule 11 agreement, claiming an error in calculating his income. He asked for a modification of the agreement.

Another hearing was held related to the temporary orders. There, the husband’s attorney told the court that there had been an error in the first agreement. The wife’s attorney said he understood that the husband’s income was around $5,000. The husband’s attorney claimed he’d withdrawn money from his 401K, and the monthly income of about $1,400 wouldn’t be available.

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