Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
THE 325TH DISTRICT COURT OF TARRANT COUNTY TRIAL COURT NO.
GABRIEL, J.; LIVINGSTON, C.J.; and SUDDERTH, J.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
Yundlander Jones (Wife), proceeding pro se, appeals from
the trial court's January 7, 2016 corrected judgment
dividing the existing community estate between her and
appellee Claude Jones (Husband). Wife argues that the trial
court ignored her evidence submitted in support of her claims
for reimbursement and, therefore, abused its discretion by
failing to order Husband to reimburse her these expenses. She
further attacks the trial court's failure to file
findings of fact and conclusions of law to support its
judgment. We hold that the trial court did not abuse its
discretion in its division of the community estate and that
Wife's notice of past-due findings and conclusions was
not timely filed.
and Husband married in 2004 and were granted a divorce on
March 22, 2013. Jones v. Jones, No. 02-13-00133-CV,
2014 WL 4105264, at *1 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth Aug. 21, 2014,
pet. denied) (mem. op.). In the final decree, the trial court
awarded Wife as her separate property a "community
residence" located on Ransom Terrace in Fort Worth.
Id. After Wife appealed, this court held that the
Ransom Terrace property, which had been sold before the
divorce, was erroneously included as a community asset, which
"distorted the value of the community estate."
Id. We affirmed the portion of the decree awarding
Wife and Husband a divorce, but reversed and remanded to the
trial court "the remainder of the trial court's
judgment . . . for a new trial on the division of the
community estate." Id.
the remand, Wife requested that the trial court, as part of
its division of the community estate, award her reimbursement
for the money she spent on a house located on Harness Circle
in Fort Worth, for the money she spent to satisfy
Husband's premarital debts, and for the premiums she paid
on Husband's medical- and life-insurance policies. She
further requested to be named the beneficiary of
Husband's life-insurance policy if she were not awarded
reimbursement for the premiums she previously paid. On
October 9, 2015, the trial court held a hearing to determine
the appropriate property division. The trial court awarded to
Husband as his separate property the Harness Circle
house.The trial court then awarded all property,
monies, cars, and personal effects in the parties'
possession as their respective separate property. The trial
court also awarded any life-insurance policies to the named
insured as his or her separate property, "and any
payment on that is their responsibility from this day
forward." Finally, Husband and Wife were ordered to pay
50% "of all the credit cards as of December 2,
2012." The trial court denied Wife's reimbursement
requests in a separate, summary order entered that same day.
January 14, 2016, Wife timely filed a motion for new trial
requesting reimbursement for "her equity $58,
466.00" in the Harness Circle house, "liabilities
incurred prior to marriage $12, 683.00, " and of her
premium payments that she made on Husband's insurance
policies "since April 2012." The trial court denied
the motion on February 4, 2016. On February 12, 2016, Wife
filed a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law
regarding the trial court's order denying her motion for
new trial and again urged her claims for reimbursement.
Thirty-two days later after the trial court failed to file
findings and conclusions, Wife filed a notice of past-due
findings and conclusions.
appeals from the trial court's property-division
judgment, arguing that she was entitled to be named the
beneficiary of Husband's life-insurance policy and to
reimbursement for money she paid during the marriage to
satisfy Husband's pre-marital debts, including payments
on the Harness Circle house, such as homeowner's
insurance and "association fees." She further
asserts that the trial court erred by failing to file
findings and conclusions although she requested them and
served notice that they were past due. Husband did not file
an appellate brief in response to Wife's arguments.
Although Wife raises six separate issues in the
issues-presented section of her brief, she argues them
collectively with no reference to a corresponding issue.
Indeed, some of her numbered issues are not briefed in her
argument portion. We will do the same and will merely address
the arguments she briefs on the merits that we are able to
identify, but will not attempt to tie these arguments back to
a specific, numbered issue.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
first address her complaint directed to the lack of findings
and conclusions supporting the trial court's denial of
her motion for new trial. Even if such a request were
appropriate under the facts of this case, Wife did not file
her notice of past-due findings and conclusions within thirty
days of her original request. Accordingly, she cannot
complain on appeal about their absence. See Tex.
Fam. Code Ann. § 6.711(b) (West 2006); Tex.R.Civ.P. 297;
Sonnier v. Sonnier, 331 S.W.3d 211, 216 (Tex.
App.-Beaumont 2011, no pet.); Burns v. Burns, 116
S.W.3d 916, 922 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2003, no pet.).
now to Wife's arguments challenging the trial court's
property division, which primarily focus on the trial
court's denial of her requests for reimbursement. She
points to monies she paid for Husband's "debts
incurred before marriage in which she did not
benefit"-"child support, " "bankruptcy
payments, " "mortgage payment arrears, "
"property lien due to back taxes, " and
"homeowner assoc. past due fees." She also argues
that she was entitled to reimbursement for the monies she
paid for Husband's health-insurance premiums and for
homeowner's insurance and association fees that
"were paid monthly for eight years."
for reimbursement arises upon dissolution of a marriage when
funds from one marital estate have been expended to benefit
another marital estate. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann.
§ 3.404(b) (West Supp. 2016). In disposing of such a
claim, a trial court "shall apply equitable
principles" first to "determine whether to
recognize the claim after taking into account all the
relative circumstances of the spouses, " and second to
order a just and right division of the claim for
reimbursement, "if appropriate, . . . having due regard
for the rights of each party." Id. § 7.007
(West Supp. 2016); see also id. § 3.402(b)
(West Supp. 2016). A spouse seeking reimbursement has the
burden of pleading and proof to show that a contribution was
made by one marital estate to another, that the contribution
was reimbursable, and the value of the contribution. See
id. § 3.402(e); Hinton v. Burns, 433
S.W.3d 189, 195 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2014, no pet.); Roberts
v. Roberts, 402 S.W.3d 833, 838 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
2013, no pet.) (en banc op. on reconsideration). A trial
court has broad discretion to determine a ...