PAMELA K. PAREDEZ, Appellant
DARREN J. HUSSEY, Appellee
Appeal from the 311th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2017-25242
consists of Justices Keyes, Goodman, and Countiss.
V. Keyes Justice
Paredez appeals the trial court's denial of her motion to
sign a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) for a
defined contribution plan owned by her former husband, Darren
Hussey. In six issues, Paredez contends that the parties'
divorce decree entitles her to QDROs awarding her half of the
funds in Hussey's defined contribution, stock option,
profit-sharing, bonus, and employer-based savings retirement
plans from the date of their divorce until the date Hussey
almost thirteen years of marriage, Hussey and Paredez
divorced on March 20, 1995. Although they have now been
divorced for almost 25 years, Hussey and Paredez have spent
the past several years in litigation over Paredez's claim
that the parties' divorce decree entitles her to receive
half of each of Hussey's retirement savings plans through
the last date of his "past, present, or future
employment," including contributions he and his employer
made to those plans after the parties' divorce in 1995.
This appeal centers around Hussey's defined contribution
plan, the Shell Provident Fund.
portion of the parties' divorce decree titled
"Division of the Marital Estate," the trial court
ordered "that the estate of the parties is divided"
to award Paredez:
Fifty (50%) percent of any and all sums, whether matured or
unmatured, accrued or unaccrued, vested or otherwise,
together with all increases thereof, the proceeds therefrom,
and any other rights related to any profit-sharing plan,
retirement plan, pension plan, employee stock option plan,
employee savings plan, accrued unpaid bonuses, or other
benefit program existing by reason of Respondent's past,
present, or future employment, including without limitation,
the Respondent's Retirement Fund, Provident Fund, and
SPIF Fund with Shell Oil Company per Qualified Domestic
Relations Orders; however, excluding loans against the SPIF
in arriving at the 50% interest in the SPIF Fund.
accordance with this provision of the decree, on June 15,
1995, the trial court signed a QDRO awarding Paredez fifty
percent of the funds in Hussey's Shell Provident Fund as
of March 20, 1995:
5. The Court finds that the total community property interest
of [Hussey] and [Paredez] in the Shell Provident Fund
(hereinafter the Plan), to be the total sum of all
contributions, together with interest and earnings thereon,
which were made or accrued by or on behalf of [Hussey] into
any and all accounts of the Plan.
6. As a part of a just and right division of the estate of
the parties, the Court awards, assigns and grants to
[Paredez], fifty percent (50%) of all accounts of [Hussey]
that make up the Shell Provident Fund as valued on March 20,
1995, said date being the date of divorce, together with all
stocks, splits, dividends and earnings thereon, to date of
QDRO stated that it "shall become an integral part"
of the divorce decree. And it provided:
10. Except as specifically awarded to [Paredez] herein,
[Paredez] is divested of all right, title, and interest in
and to any balance remaining in any account of the Shell
Provident Fund covering [Hussey].
11. When full payments to [Paredez] of the respective
benefits assigned [Paredez] under this Order have been made,
the Shell Provident Fund shall be discharged from its
respective obligations to [Paredez].
QDRO was not appealed. Nor was the divorce decree of which
the QDRO was ...