Chavez v. Mcneely

287 S.W.3d 840 (2009)


H and W were first married in 1969, and they have three children together. They were divorced and remarried twice. After their second remarriage in 2000, H was involved in a horseback riding accident that left him completely paralyzed. H and W divorced for a third time. The divorce decree gave H a life estate in a 120-acre ranch, with the remainder going to W. The parties also stipulated that H's sister, Patsy Brewer and her family will be responsible for the daily physical care of H. W stipulated that she will provide as much toward the care and providing for the needs of H as possible, limited only by her personal financial situation. Eventually, H filed suit against W to enforce the support decree. W claimed that the provision of the divorce decree was too indefinite to be enforced as a contract. W testified that she continued to pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the ranch where H lived. She also testified that she had paid what she could for H's care until her business began to fail in 2003. H contended that W's personal spending habits did not reflect a decline in her financial ability to contribute toward his care. The court found for H on his breach of contract claim and awarded him $950,000 in damages, plus interest and attorney's fees. The trial court found that A contract existed wherein D agreed to provide for the needs of H, limited only by her personal financial situation. The court held that the contract was clear and unambiguous and W could have provided $300k per year. W appealed.