Property in a Texas divorce does not have to be divided equally, but instead must be divided in a just and right manner. There can be a number of ways to achieve a just and right division, especially when the property is a large piece of real estate. In a recent case, a husband asked the court to award the wife a smaller portion of the parties’ ranch, which he claimed was more valuable than the rest of the ranch.
Wife Precluded from Presenting Testimony about Value of Ranch
The parties married in 1995. When the wife petitioned for divorce, the parties owned a ranch together. Before the trial, the husband moved to compel discovery and subsequently for discovery sanctions. The trial court granted the motions and ordered that the wife would not be allowed to testify about the community property’s value.
According to the appeals court’s opinion, he husband testified that the tax appraisal for the ranch was $529,280, but that the ranch was only worth $400,000. He asked the trial court to award him the entire ranch, or alternatively to award the wife the “richest 10 acres” and give him the other 40. He testified the westernmost ten acres were the most beautiful and had the richest soil. The remaining 40 acres included several improvements, including a mobile home, a barn, and a pond.
Continue Reading ›