A Texas divorce case is not always over when the judge signs the final divorce decree. The decree sets forth the property division, but the parties must take action to achieve the division. If party fails to surrender property, the other party may need to file a motion to enforce the property division in the decree. A former husband recently challenged an enforcement order, arguing that the motion had not been filed timely and the claim was time-barred.
The couple divorced in 2012. The wife moved for enforcement of the agreed divorce decree in 2016. She also petitioned for breach of alimony contract. The court held a bench trial and subsequently signed an enforcement order, ordering the husband to make the payments to satisfy the funds transfers required by the decree, to make the unpaid alimony payments, to provide health insurance for the children and reimburse the mother for the premiums she had paid, add the mother to the custodial accounts for the children, and pay the mother’s attorney’s fees. The husband appealed.
The husband argued the portions of the order awarding funds to the wife were barred by the statute of limitations. Section 9.003 of the Texas Family Code requires a suit to enforce division of tangible personal property to be filed within two years from the date the decree was signed or becomes final after appeal.