IN THE MATTER OF THE MARRIAGE OF CARRIE HOLLOMAN SLAGLE AND ALAN PAUL SLAGLE
Appeal from the 300th District Court Brazoria County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 76596-F
consists of Justices Jamison, Busby, and Donovan.
Brett Busby Justice
divorce case, appellant Alan Paul Slagle challenges the trial
court's division of the marital estate. Paul argues in
his first issue that the trial court abused its discretion in
dividing the community estate. In particular, Paul contends
that the trial court abused its discretion when it found that
Graphic Creations, Inc. was his separate property. Paul also
asserts that the trial court abused its discretion because
insufficient evidence supports the trial court's finding
that the community estate was entitled to reimbursement. We
overrule this issue because sufficient evidence supports the
trial court's division of the marital estate based on its
finding that the community estate had a reimbursement claim
for community funds used to benefit Graphic Creations,
Paul's separate property.
second issue, Paul asserts that the trial court violated his
due process rights. We overrule this issue because Paul
failed to preserve his complaints in the trial court. We
therefore affirm the trial court's judgment.
and appellee Carrie Holloman Slagle married in June 2000.
Carrie filed for divorce in early 2014. The question of the
property division went to trial before the
time the divorce action was filed, Carrie was working
full-time earning a substantial salary. Paul, on the
other hand, was unemployed. By his own admission, Paul was
not seeking employment but was instead devoting more than sixty
hours a week to "spending money" on a lawsuit
involving his separate business, Graphic Creations. Paul was
also involved in day-trading, spending all of his free time
in that activity. Paul did so with little success, losing
$130, 000 in his day-trading account in 2013 alone.
time was spent at trial discussing Graphic Creations. Paul
admitted that Graphic Creations existed prior to the
marriage. In 2000, the year Paul and Carrie married, Graphic
Creations ran independent businesses inside two amusement
parks operated by Six Flags. Graphic Creations eventually grew
to locations inside six parks. Graphic Creations'
original arrangement with Six Flags required it to pay Six
Flags approximately thirty percent of each location's
earnings. According to Carrie, this arrangement had worked
well for Paul, he had used it to pay his way through college,
and the business was profitable.
Creations' profitability changed in 2007 when Six Flags
began experiencing financial difficulties. According to
Carrie, Six Flags began looking for ways to cut costs. One
method they chose was to increase the fee they charged
Graphic Creations to forty percent of earnings. Graphic
Creations sued Six Flags over this changed
arrangement. According to Carrie, Paul did not earn an
income after 2007. Despite the breakdown in the relationship
with Six Flags, Paul maintained a separate office for Graphic
Creations in Pearland. The expense of keeping this office
open continued until 2013, when Paul shut down the business.
to Carrie, Paul began spending more and more time on the
lawsuit against Six Flags. Carrie testified that Paul would
leave the house early in the morning and would not return
until late at night, often two o'clock in the morning of
the next day. Carrie also testified that during this same
time period Paul began taking Adderall, a medication
prescribed for people with attention deficit disorder. Carrie
told the trial court that Paul had not been diagnosed with
attention deficit disorder, but used the drug as a
couple loaned money to Graphic Creations throughout the
marriage. Outright cash loans totaled $681, 042. Carrie
testified that the money for these loans came exclusively
from her salary. In addition, at the end of each year, Paul
would have Graphic Creations pay him a small salary, which he
would then loan back to the business. The annual loans made
from Paul's salary totaled $164, 502.
conclusion of the bench trial, the trial court signed a Final
Decree of Divorce. It dissolved the marriage on the grounds
of insupportability. In addition to appointing Carrie sole
managing conservator of the children and ordering Paul to pay
monthly child support, the trial court divided the marital
estate. It awarded Paul (1) all cash in his possession as
well as any bank accounts in his name or where he had the
sole right to make withdrawals, (2) a 2006 BMW,
a golf cart, (4) the "separate business Graphic
Creations, " and (5) any recovery received in Graphic
Creations' lawsuit against Six Flags. The trial court
awarded Carrie (1) the house the couple had acquired during
the marriage along with its contents, (2) all cash in her
possession as well as any bank accounts in her name or where
she had the sole right to make withdrawals, (3) retirement
accounts in her name, (4) a 2008 Honda Odyssey, (5) a 2006
Lexus, and (6) a health savings account.
trial court then turned to the marital estate's debts. It
assigned the following debts to Paul: (1) American Express
credit card balance totaling $28, 000, (2) Chase Visa credit
card balance totaling $14, 000, (3) the $11, 000 balance owed
on the BMW title loan, (4) $3, 006.54 owed to a health
savings account that Paul had used for non-medical purposes,
and (5) any debts he had incurred on or after April 2, 2014.
The trial court then assigned to Carrie any debts she had
incurred on or after April 2, 2014.
trial court included the following finding in the divorce
IT IS DECREED that the community estate is entitled to
reimbursement from [Paul's] separate estate for $681,
042.00 and that [Carrie] is entitled to a judgment of . . .
$340, 521.00." IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND DECREED that
[Carrie] is awarded as payment of the debt, the real property
at . . . Pearland, Texas 77584 whose 50% equity is [$91,
130]. [Carrie] is awarded the IRA whose 50% value is [$170,