(CN) – A woman who tried to keep the couple’s business alive as her now ex-husband served time was not fraudulently depleting family finances, a Texas appeals court ruled.
Janet and David Hernandez were married in 1994 while David was in prison for burglary and sexual assault.
David was paroled in 2002, and the couple started a business selling computer and lawn care equipment. He went back to jail in 2007, however, for failing to register as a sex offender and for using the Internet to contact a woman, with whom he later had sex.
With David in prison to complete his 40-year sentence, the business faltered. David was the computer expert, and a drought literally dried up sales on lawn care equipment.
Janet liquidated a mutual fund, vehicles and equipment, but the business ultimately failed in fall 2008.
Around that time, Janet filed for divorce, but David appealed, objecting to the court’s distribution of property. He claimed that Janet’s liquidation of the company’s assets was a fraud on the community.
But the Waco-based 10th District Texas Court of Appeals did not credit testimony from David and a friend who said Janet still possessed some of the disputed assets.
“Because Janet’s testimony constitutes some evidence that there were no community assets to divide and because we must defer to the trial court’s resolution of underlying facts and to the credibility determinations that may have effected its decision, we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion in dividing the marital estate,” Judge Rex Davis wrote for the court.