Top 20 Texas Family Law CasesCase 6: EGGEMEYER v. EGGEMEYER.
Case number six in our Top 20 Texas Family Law Cases series is EGGEMEYER v. EGGEMEYER. Prior to Eggemeyer, there was some confusion as to whether a court could divest a party of their separate property in a Texas divorce.
Division of Separate Property in Texas Divorce
EGGEMEYER v. EGGEMEYER, 554 S.W.2d 137 (Tex. 1977)
EGGEMEYER v. EGGEMEYER Background
When Home Eggemeyer and Virginia Eggemeyer were divorced the trial court awarded the entirety of a small family farm to the wife. Homer Eggemeyer owned an undivided one-third interest in the home pursuant to a gift from his mother. The trial court created a lien on the property (the third in line) from Virginia to Homer, which was not due and payable until their youngest child turned 18 years old.
The Court Decision
A court may not divest a party of their separate, real property.
Significance of Case
Prior to Eggemeyer, there was some confusion as to whether a court could divest a party of their separate property upon divorce, as a means to balance inequities in the division of the estate, or as support for the minor children of the marriage.
The Eggemeyer Court determined that in certain instances, it may be okay to set aside separate property for the benefit of the children of the marriage. However, in this instance, the trial court did mention the children, and instead of using a trustee or receiver, actually divested the husband of his separate property.
Eggemeyer was the first Supreme Court case to specifically prohibit a trial court from divesting a party of their separate property during divorce.
Top 20 Texas Family Law Cases: GRAHAM v. FRANCO
The next case on our list is GRAHAM v. FRANCO. Prior to this case the issue of characterization of personal injury awards had not been directly decided by the Supreme Court.