POLLARD v. POLLARD No. 05-08-01516-CV Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth Distrct, Dallas. June 25, 2010
The Dallas court of appeals recently affirmed the notion that if two parties are not actually divorced at the time of the death of one of the parties, the parties are married on the decedent's death, irrespective of whether the trial court has granted a divorce and one of the parties has appealed. In discussing the Pollard matter (available at http://tinyurl.com/2egftlb), the appeals court explained that the parties had been married but that the trial court rendered a final decree of divorce dissolving the marriage. However, husband appealed regarding division of assets, but, importantly, did not sever the issue of dissolution of marriage (which he did not intend to challenge) from the property division portion of the final order. By failing to limit the scope of his appeal and therefore failing to severe the issue of dissolution of marriage from husband's appeal on the division of property, the appeals court determined that the husband had appealed the entire final order, which it reversed and remanded back to the trial court. At the time of remand and by the act of remand, the marriage between the parties was still in tact. Before the trial court could rehear the entire case and enter a new order, the wife died after the appeals court reversed and remanded the case. Eventually the wife died and the executor of her estate proceeded as though wife were divorced at the time of her death. In its analysis, the appeals court reiterated the notion that:
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