Lack of Evidence Reverses an Uncontested Divorce
There are a lot of steps you have to complete correctly to get a divorce. If you mess up even one of them the court can send you all the way back to fix your mistake. This costs you time and money. In the case we are looking at today, the person even got a final divorce judgment. However, she made a fatal mistake in her uncontested divorce and was reversed on appeal. Let's see what went wrong.
Gabriela and Hector married in 2000. They had two children. Gabriela and Hector separated in December 2009. In 2013, Gabriela filed for divorce, alleging that the marriage had become insupportable.
Is Your Property Division Just & Right?
One of the requirements during divorce is to divide the community property. This was an uncontested divorce so Gabriela thought she could do whatever she wanted and it would be acceptable. Well, the law got in the way.
When you divide property in your divorce it must be "just and right." This is mandatory, not optional. If the judge is not satisfied that the property division is "just and right" then your case may not go as you expect it to.
Gabriela did manage to successfully push her divorce through with the first judge. But then the problems started. Hector found out what she put in the divorce decree. When he saw the property division he filed an appeal.
Her Critical Mistake
Gabriela failed to identify the value of the community estate. She never defined the assets of the community estate, nor described them with any particularity. She also failed to identify the value of the Houston property and Mercado Mexico.
Don't Forget the Evidence
During the appeal, Hector attacked the divorce decree as not resulting in a just and right division of property. How did he do this? Well, Gabriela made it real easy for him.
When you leave a decision up to a judge you have to give the judge evidence. If the judge does not have sufficient evidence, you will either lose at the first level or risk losing on appeal. Here, the appeals court found that the court record did not include sufficient evidence to justify its property division. The judge concluded:
Here, there is nothing in the record demonstrating the value of the community estate. Notably, Gabriela failed to identify the value of the community estate in her testimony. She never defined the assets of the community estate, nor described them with any particularity. She also failed to identify the value of the Houston property and Mercado Mexico. While Gabriela requested the division of property reflected in the decree, there is no evidence of the value of the community estate or of any of its component parts upon which the trial court could have concluded that the decree's division of the community estate was just and right.
You Can Avoid This
You can avoid making the same mistake Gabriela did. You can avoid having to go through the same divorce twice. Work with us to make sure you do it right the first time to save you time, money, and a huge hassle.
Colmenero v. Colmenero, No. 01-14-00071-CV, 2015 WL 1245849 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet. h.) (mem. op.) (03-17-15).