Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
IN THE INTEREST OF B.M.Y. AND J.M.Y., CHILDREN
Appeal from the 301st Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DF-98-16446-T
Justices Bridges, Lang-Miers, and Evans
G.J.Y. (Father) appeals the judgment which awarded appellee
J.B.Y. (Mother) post-majority expenses of their child. Father
contends that the trial court abused its discretion by
awarding post-majority expenses without statutory authority
or jurisdiction to do so. Father also makes two alternative
arguments: (1) the trial court abused its discretion by
awarding a judgment for post-majority expenses without
sufficient evidence and (2) Mother failed to prove all the
conditions precedent were met to recover the post-majority
expenses. We reverse and render judgment in favor of Father
as to the enforcement of post-majority expenses.
November 30, 1998, Mother and Father entered into an Agreed
Final Decree of Divorce and Suit Affecting Parent-Child
Relationship (Decree). The Decree contains the following
provision entitled "College Education":
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that [Father] shall pay
60% of the expenses required for enrollment and attendance of
each of the children as a student at a public or private
college, university, or graduate school for so long as a
child remains enrolled in a course of study leading to an
undergraduate or graduate decree. Expenses shall include
tuition, books, room and board, and all incidental fees.
[Father] shall make his 60% payments either by paying the
school directly or by reimbursing [Mother] for any payments
made over and above her 40% share.
"College Education" section is an independent
section and is not part of either the support or the property
distribution sections. Mother and Father each signed the
decree and elsewhere it provided that they contractually
agreed to all of its provisions.
February 3, 2015, Mother filed a motion to enforce the child
support order seeking reimbursement for medical expenses,
health insurance premiums, and college expenses. Mother
subsequently filed several amended motions.
filed an answer on April 9, 2015 and an amended answer on
June 8, 2015. In the amended answer, Father asserted that
Mother was not entitled to post-majority support because she
did not ask for contractual relief and cited this Court's
opinion, In re W.R.B., No. 05-12000776-CV, 2014 WL
1008222 (Tex. App.-Dallas Feb. 20, 2014, pet. denied). At the
enforcement hearing on January 8, 2016, Father objected
frequently on the basis stated in his answer: that the only
relief sought was enforcement not breach of contract which
was the only relief possible under applicable law based on
the text of this decree. The trial court granted Father a
running objection on that matter and Mother complained about
the number of times Father objected on that basis.
the hearing, the trial court granted Mother's motion. On
March 31, 2016, the trial court signed an order awarding
Mother $41, 358.63 for college tuition and $1, 492.74 for
books and supplies and room and board, plus interest at the
rate of 5% from the date of the judgment.
then timely filed his appeal.