Court of Appeals of Texas, Eighth District, El Paso
MARTHA A. DELGADO, Appellant,
JOSE LUIS DELGADO, Appellee.
from the 388th District Court of El Paso County, Texas (TC#
McClure, C.J., Rodriguez, and Palafox, JJ.
T. RODRIGUEZ, JUSTICE.
an appeal from a decree of divorce dissolving the marriage
between Appellant Martha A. Delgado ("Wife") and
Appellee Jose Luis Delgado ("Husband"), and
dividing the couple's community property. Wife challenges
the property division, which she asserts disproportionately
parties ceased living together as husband and wife in May
2015. In July 2015, Husband filed for divorce on the ground
of insupportability. He testified at trial that Wife had been
unfaithful, and also that she had stopped cooking and
cleaning for him and an adult son who still lived at
home. He acknowledged asking her to give him her
front door key, but denied kicking her out of the marital
residence. Wife, on the other hand, testified that Husband
was drunk, took her keys, and kicked her out of the house.
is a high school graduate with one year of university
education. He testified that although Wife did not graduate
from high school, her English skills are better than his.
Husband's gross wages are approximately $2, 100 per
month. His weekly take-home pay is $335. He has diabetes and
high blood pressure, and is considering applying for
disability. He has a 401(k) valued at approximately $9, 000,
against which he took a $7, 000 loan, which he is repaying
through payroll deductions.
testified concerning a variety of jobs she has held in the
past, including a job as a secretary, one assisting a
business with its accounting, and one making telephone
collections. Husband acknowledged that Wife worked off and on
during the marriage, but testified that she did not help pay
any of the household bills other than groceries. He indicated
that she used much of her earnings to buy herself clothes.
Wife testified, though, that she did buy some things for the
house, such as a microwave. At the time of trial, Wife was
living with her daughter and helping care for her
grandchildren. The daughter was paying her approximately $1,
200 per month.
testified that the marital residence has a value of
approximately $80, 000 to $90, 000, with a mortgage balance
of $8, 000 to $9, 000. The parties stipulated that the home
was appraised for tax purposes at $94, 000. All of the
couple's furniture is paid for, as is Husband's 2009
Honda Accord. Husband pays $412 monthly for a 2012 Mercedes
owned by the couple's son, Jose Delgado, Jr., and $242
monthly for a 2014 Hyundai Genesis owned by another son,
time of trial, Wife was driving a 2012 Honda Pilot, which her
daughter was helping her pay for. She testified that she has
a number of credit cards in her name but that she stopped
paying on those cards when she left the marital residence.
She also testified that she did not put any additional
charges on those cards after that time.
March 23, 2017, the trial court signed a document titled,
"Findings and Orders of Final Divorce"
("Findings and Orders"), which reflects the
court's rulings on the couple's property. Husband is
awarded the marital residence, the 2009 Honda Accord, and his
401(k). He is responsible for paying the mortgage on the
home, as well as the debt on the 2012 Mercedes and the 2014
Hyundai. Wife is awarded $34, 000, paid in $250 installments
over the course of 136 months, as well as a couch, Christmas
tree, and decorations that she had specifically requested.
She is responsible for paying "debt in her name."
27, 2017, the trial court signed a final decree of divorce
dissolving the couple's marriage on the ground of
insupportability. The decree incorporates the rulings
reflected in the Findings and Orders with further details.
One such detail is that the monetary award to Wife shall bear
zero percent interest. The decree also states that Wife is
responsible to pay debts solely incurred by her after May
2015, rather than "debts in her name." Wife now
appeals from the final decree of divorce.
issues, Wife asserts that the trial court abused its
discretion by (1) dividing the marital estate without
sufficient information before it; (2) dividing the marital
estate in a manner that is manifestly unfair or unjust to
Wife; (3) treating the debt on two cars as community debt but
not treating the cars as community assets; (4) granting Wife
a money judgment instead of ordering the community residence
sold and the proceeds divided; and (5) ordering that the
money judgment in Wife's favor bear zero percent
a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a
division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the
court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights
of each party and any children of the marriage."
Tex.Fam.Code Ann. § 7.001. The court's determination
of a just and right property division is reviewed for abuse
of discretion. Murff v. Murff, 615 S.W.2d 696, 698
(Tex. 1981); Kaftousian v. Rezaeipanah, 511 S.W.3d
618, 621 (Tex.App.-El Paso 2015, no pet.).
trial court enjoys wide latitude in dividing the marital
estate, and we presume that the trial court properly
exercised its discretion in reaching its decision.
Accordingly, we will not overturn that decision unless the
complaining party demonstrates that it was so unjust and
unfair as to constitute an abuse of discretion."
[Citations omitted]. Kaftousian, 511 S.W.3d at 621;
see Mann v. Mann, 607 S.W.2d 243, 245 (Tex. 1980).
Our review employs a two-pronged analysis: "(1) Did the
trial court have sufficient information upon which to
exercise its discretion?[;] and (2) Did the trial court abuse