Appeals Blog

Does Obergefell apply to determine whether a common law marriage exists?

In re Estate of Whetstone, (Dallas 2019) (No. 05-18-00165-CV) Link to Opinion Facts:  In this heirship proceeding, the applicant asserted that she and decedent (also a woman) were married by common law.  Decedent’s sister asserted that there was no common law marriage, and the trial court agreed that there was no marriage.  Applicant appealed. Result:  The court of appeals affirmed.  […]

Whether removal of geographic restriction was proper in a modification

In the Interest of A.C.M. (El Paso 2019) (08-18-00014-CV) Link to Court’s Opinion Facts:  Father filed a modification suit seeking to designate the child’s primary residence.  An associate judge restricted the child’s primary residence to El Paso County, Texas and granted Father possession of and access to the child according to the extended standard possession order.   Following a de novo […]

Whether a minor child’s marriage deprives the court of jurisdiction in a modification

Broussard v. Arnel (Hous. [1st. Dist.] 2019) (01-18-00687-CV) Link to Court’s Opinion Facts:  During a trial in a suit to modify the parent-child relationship, mother announced to the court that their 15 year-old son went to Missouri and married a 26-year old woman.  Mother filed a plea to the jurisdiction asserting that the trial court lost jurisdiction due to the […]

Whether a memo order from the court is a “final order” for appellate deadline purposes

In the Interest of R.R.K. (Tex. 2019) (No. 18-0273) Link the Court’s Opinion Facts:  Following a bench trial, the court issued a one-page memorandum with its ruling.  It contained a Mother Hubbard clause denying all relief not expressly granted but lacked information required by Family Code 105.006.  Both parties prepared final orders for entry, and the trial court later signed […]

Enforcement of a Mediated Settlement Agreement Signed Before the Divorce Was Filed

Highsmith v. Highsmith (Tex. 2019) (18-0262) Facts: Husband and wife signed a Mediated Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) before filing for divorce. Husband later filed a divorce petition. He subsequently proved up the divorce and had judgment rendered on the MSA. Wife filed a motion for new trial. She asserted that the MSA did not meet the Family Code’s requirements because it […]