Both the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution prohibit the state from depriving a person of a liberty interest without due process of law. Case law has established that parental rights are fundamental liberty interests. Due process generally requires that a person be given a meaningful opportunity to be heard. A mother recently appealed her divorce decree, arguing she was deprived of her due process when the court accepted evidence after trial but before entering the final decree.
According to the appeals court, the child was born in March 2020 and the father filed for divorce the following August. In its ruling, the trial court named the parties joint managing conservators and awarded the father the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence within two counties. The final decree divided the marital estate, awarding the father $104,738.93 and the mother $69,825.95 from the sale of the home.
Due Process Claims
The mother appealed, arguing the trial court violated her due process rights by accepting certain evidence after the trial.