Parties to a Texas divorce may enter into a Rule 11 agreement to resolve issues in their case. The agreement must be made in open court and entered into the record, or be in writing, signed, and filed with the court. A Rule 11 agreement must be complete in material details and contain all of the essential elements of the agreement. It is an abuse of discretion for a court to enter a judgment that is not in compliance with material terms of the agreement. A mother recently appealed a final divorce decree that she claimed did not comply with the terms of the Rule 11 agreement.
Parties Enter into Rule 11 Agreement
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the parties’ Rule 11 agreement provided they would be joint managing conservators of the two minor children, with the mother being primary for determining their residence with a geographic restriction. The father would continue picking up the daughter from school. The father would have a standard possession order for the son. The son had the option to have dinner at the father’s on Thursday. No alcohol was to be consumed during or for four hours prior to the father’s possession. Child support would be calculated according to the guidelines based on the father’s 2019 Schedule C “unless Schedule C gross receipts are higher for 2020 as filed.”
The parties both moved to enter the final decree, with the mother indicating they had not agreed regarding child support. At the hearing, she argued the parties intended child support to be calculated without subtracting expenses from the gross receipts if the 2020 gross receipts were higher. The father argued different language would have been used if that was the intent. He argued the language required the child support to be calculated according to the guidelines, which require calculation of net income before determining child support.