This is the third post in a three-part series on “reimbursement claims” in divorce. Recall that all claims for reimbursement are “equitable” in nature, meaning the court has wide discretion in deciding and balancing the outcome. Some claims, however, cannot be considered by the court since that are prohibited by statute.
Texas Family Code Section 3.409 prohibits courts from considering the following:
- Payment of child support, alimony or spousal maintenance;
- Living expenses for your spouse or a child of your spouse;
- Contributions of nominal value; and,
- Payment of student loans owed by your spouse.
The first three categories make sense to most people. That last one — payment of your spouse’s student loans — often comes up as a sore spot during discussion with clients. For better or worse, there really is no room for discussion. The Texas legislature has handed down its decision. In divorce, a reimbursement claim for contributions made to compensate for payment of your spouse’s student loan debt is dead on arrival.
A close reading of Texas Family Code Section 3.402 adds to the list of prohibited claims any desire to claim an offset for “use and enjoyment” by the community of a spouse’s separate property primary or secondary residence (e.g. a spouse’s separate property homestead or vacation home)
Author Jim Cramp is the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm. The Cramp Law Firm provides a spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.