In Waldrop v. Waldrop, the trial court signed a divorce decree that found that the husband needed to pay the wife maintenance of $3,000 per month under Texas Family Code Chapter 8.001 et seq. The parties had stipulated that their agreement was enforceable as a contract.
Six years after their divorce, the ex-husband filed a petition claiming a material and substantial change in circumstances and asked that maintenance payments to the wife be modified or terminated. The trial court considered the contractual language in the maintenance clause of their agreement and heard testimony about their intent and the ex-husband’s financial situation.
The trial court determined that the decree required contractual alimony and that the modification provisions of chapter 8 didn’t apply. It also concluded that language related to “further orders of the court” was ambiguous but referred to three instances of termination stated within the decree.