Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
JAMES E. REDD, Appellant,
SARAH K. REDD, Appellee.
appeal from the 75th District Court of Liberty County, Texas.
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Longoria and Hinojosa.
ROGELIO VALDEZ Chief Justice.
James E. Redd appeals from a final divorce
decree. By six issues, which we renumbered,
appellant contends that the trial court erred by awarding
appellee Sarah K. Redd $1, 500 in spousal maintenance,
awarding temporary spousal support in the amount of $2, 500
per month, ordering appellant to pay $20, 000 in delinquent
temporary spousal support payments, failing to issue findings
of fact and conclusions of law, and failing to "award
[appellant] his sole and separate real property rather than
to decree that he owns the property." We affirm in part
and reverse and remand in part.
February 5, 2014, the trial court held a hearing where the
parties agreed on the record that appellant would pay
appellee $2, 500 per month in pre-divorce temporary spousal
support. On March 7, 2014, appellee filed a motion asking for
entry of a temporary order that appellant pay $2, 500 per
month in temporary support. On March 10, 2014, appellant
filed a proposed rule 11 agreement stating that
appellant's income had been incorrectly calculated and
requesting modification of the agreement.
March 31, 2014, the trial court held a hearing on entry of
temporary orders. At this hearing, appellant's attorney
informed the trial court that the parties had "prepared
some amended temporary orders [due to an] error . . . [in]
the initial agreement . . . for temporary spousal support. .
. ." Appellee's attorney responded that he
understood that appellant's income, including retirement
from the military, Continental Airlines, and social security,
totaled almost $5, 000. Appellee's attorney stated that
appellant withdrew $230, 000 from his 401K account rather
than taking monthly payments from Continental, and
appellant's anticipated income of "around $1,
400" would no longer be available.
7, 2015, appellant filed a motion for amended temporary
orders, agreeing, in relevant part, to pay appellee $1, 000
per month. The motion alleges that at the February 5 hearing,
the trial court heard evidence "based on erroneous and
false statements, " resulting "in [a] significant
error in the calculation of [his monthly income]." On
May 14, 2014, appellant filed a motion for second amended
November 25, 2014, the trial court held a hearing on
appellee's motion to enter temporary orders filed on
March 7, 2014 and requesting the trial court to order
appellant to pay $2, 500 in monthly spousal support based on
the agreement entered on February 5, 2014. Appellant and his
counsel were not present for this hearing. The trial court
recalled that there was "a disagreement over what
was-what was the agreement was." Appellee replied,
"Yes, sir; but we clearly stated on the record that they
would be paying [appellee] the $2, 500 a month." After
noting that nothing in the record showed that appellant's
attorney had been notified of the hearing to enter temporary
orders, the trial court said, "Are you representing to
the court that [appellant's attorney] was duly notified
of the fact that you had a hearing set this morning at 10:30
to enter temporary orders that were dictated into the
record." Appellee said, "Yes,
sir." When the trial court asked if the
temporary orders being offered by appellee "properly
reflected the agreement of the parties as dictated into the
record, " appellee replied, "They properly reflect
the agreement that was dictated into the record." The
trial court then granted appellee's motion for temporary
order, requiring appellant to pay appellee $2, 500 a month in
temporary support. Subsequently, appellant objected to the
temporary orders, which the trial court overruled. A bench
trial was held, the divorce was granted, and the community
estate was divided. The trial court ordered appellant to pay
$20, 000 in arrearages of temporary spousal support in its
final divorce decree. This appeal followed.
Post-Divorce Spousal Maintenance
first issue, appellant contends that the trial court abused
its discretion by awarding post-divorce spousal maintenance
in the amount of $1, 500 per month.
review an award of post-divorce spousal maintenance for abuse
of discretion. Amos v. Amos, 79 S.W.3d 747, 749
(Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2002, no pet.). "The trial
court does not abuse its discretion if there is some evidence
of a substantive and probative character to support the
decision or if reasonable minds could differ as to the
result." Id. at 749. A specific determination
of spousal maintenance is made on a case-by-case basis.
Id. A court may not order maintenance in excess of
twenty percent of the obligor spouse's monthly gross
income. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.055 (West, Westlaw
through Ch. 49, 2017 R.S.).
there is evidence that appellant earned over $440, 000 in
2013 based on his monthly earnings and on his withdrawal of
his Continental Airlines 401K account. Twenty percent of
$440, 000 is $88, 800, which constitutes an amount of $7, 400
per month. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §
8.055 (West, Westlaw through Ch. 49, 2017 R.S.). Appellant
testified that after 2013, but prior to the trial held in May
2015, he withdrew $100, 000 from a retirement account to pay
for his living expenses and legal fees, making his income
approximately $120, 000 in 2014, with twenty percent of his
income per month being $2, 000. Thus, taking all of the evidence
in the light most favorable to the trial court's ruling,
crediting favorable evidence if a reasonable fact finder
could, and disregarding contrary evidence unless a reasonable
fact finder could not, there is some evidence that the amount
of appellant's income supported the trial court's
finding that $1, 500 was within the statutory twenty percent
cap. See Slicker v. Slicker, 464 S.W.3d 850, 863
(Tex. App.-Dallas 2015, no pet.); see also City of Keller
v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 827 (Tex. 2005). Accordingly,
the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it
determined appellant's monthly income. See Amos,
79 S.W.3d at 749. We overrule appellant's first issue.
III.Temporary Pre-Divorce ...