Cases that have been resolved through trial and appeal to a higher court can give valuable guidance to parties in making decisions about how to handle their own family law disputes. These real-life experiences of other litigants involve issues we often see.
Trial Judge’s Award to Father of Child’s Primary Residence and Educational Decisions Was Supported by Sufficient Evidence
Mother and Father’s 8 year-old son had lived primarily with Mother since he was 2, when she filed for divorce and moved to Dallas. For 6 years leading up to their 15-day divorce trial, Mother was the primary caretaker and Father shared custody under Temporary Orders.
A gift involves a voluntary transfer of property made gratuitously and without consideration. The recipient can prove a gift was made by showing an intent to make the gift, delivery of the property, and its acceptance. The main issue in this proof requirement is intent.
Retained Earnings in SubS Corporation May be Considered in Calculating Net Resources for Child Support
Husband was the sole shareholder and officer in a subchapter S corporation that held $55,000 in retained earnings. In their divorce trial, the judge considered the retained earnings to be part of Husband’s net resources for purposes of calculating child support.
Husband and Wife had a Premarital Agreement that established their property division if they got divorced. They also agreed that any dispute involving their Premarital Agreement would be decided by binding arbitration.
Husband and Wife settled their divorce case at mediation, and signed a binding Mediated Settlement Agreement. They then presented a Decree of Divorce to the trial court, which was signed by the judge. Wife then filed a motion to clarify the Mediated Settlement Agreement because the Decree did not include 65 items of personal property she claimed were her separate property. Husband argued the agreement did not award those items to Wife as her separate property.
Husband and Wife signed a Postnuptial Agreement (PNA) that converted Husband’s separate property company to community property and gave each of them 50% interest in the company. The PNA included provisions for valuation and a 50/50 division of their assets if they got divorced. If they could not agree on the value of an asset, they would each have it appraised.
In their divorce trial, Mother and other family members testified about Father’s adultery and his verbal and physical abuse of Mother. Mother also denied she had an alcohol problem.
Mother Seeking New Job Out of Primary Residence Restricted Area Does Not, Alone, Justify Changing Her Primary Custody
The parents’ divorce Decree named them Joint Managing Conservators with Mother having the exclusive right to designate their child’s primary residence within the state of Texas. Mother received a job offer in Colorado, and then she filed a motion to modify the Decree to allow her to move to Colorado so she could take the new job. Father responded by asking the court to modify the Decree by changing the joint managing conservatorship provisions to alter his possession schedule
Private School Tuition Not a “Proven Need” Justifying Child Support Increase; Wife Failed to Refinance House So It Must be Sold
The Parents’ divorce Decree required Father to pay maximum guideline child support based on his net resources of at least $7,500. Their Decree also ordered Mother to refinance her residence by a certain date and if she did not, it ordered the property to be sold with the proceeds to be paid to her.
Father asked for the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of their then 14-month old daughter. He testified that if he were given primary custody, he would encourage co-parenting with Mother, he wanted to create an environment where both parents were close to their daughter. He believed Mother did not want him to be involved in their daughter’s life, he would have limited access if Mother lived in Florida, and if their daughter remained in Fort Bend County he hoped Mother would move back permanently.
*Any article or blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed attorney.