Standards of Review

Abuse of Discretion

  • “We review a trial court’s disposition of a motion for new trial for abuse of discretion.” Ayala v. Ayala, No. 01-13-00270-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 6, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing In re Columbia Med. Ctr. of Las Colinas, Subsidiary, L.P., 290 S.W.3d 204, 210 (Tex. 2009); In re Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 407 S.W.3d 746, 756–57 (Tex. 2013)).
  • “We review a trial court’s decision modifying child support for an abuse of discretion.” Auzston-Rochester v. Auzston, No. 01-12-01059-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 6, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing Worford v. Stamper, 801 S.W.2d 108, 109 (Tex. 1990)).
  • “A trial court’s ruling on a motion to set aside a settlement agreement is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard.” Davis v. Davis, No. 01-12-00701-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 6, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing In re C.H., Jr., 298 S.W.3d 800, 804 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009, no pet.); Mueller v. Mueller, No. 01-11-00247-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 1, 2012, pet. denied) (mem. op.)).
  • “We review a court’s determination that a grandparent lacked standing to intervene in a pending divorce proceeding under an abuse of discretion standard.” In re D.R.T., No. 11-12-00059-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Feb. 28, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing Whitworth v. Whitworth, 222 S.W.3d 616, 621 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.)).
  • “We also review a trial court’s denial of a motion for continuance under an abuse of discretion standard.” In re D.R.T., No. 11-12-00059-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Feb. 28, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing BMC Software Belgium, N.V. v. Marchand, 83 S.W.3d 789, 800 (Tex. 2002)).
  • Most appealable issues in a family law case, including a trial court’s ruling on child support arrearages, are reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. In re W.R.B., No. 05-12-00776-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Feb. 20, 2014) (citing Beck v. Walker, 154 S.W.3d 895, 901 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2005, no pet.)).
  • “A trial court’s order pertaining to child support will not be reversed on appeal unless the complaining party can show a clear abuse of discretion.” In re J.J.F., No. 13-12-00369-CV (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi-Edinburg Feb. 6, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing Melton v. Toomey, 350 S.W.3d 235, 238 (Tex. App. – San Antonio 2011, no pet.) (citing Worford v. Stamper, 801 S.W.2d 108, 109 (Tex. 1990))).
  • “We review most appealable issues in a family law case, such as property division incident to divorce or partition, conservatorship, visitation, and child support, under an abuse of discretion standard.” Richardson v. Richardson, No. 08-12-00076-CV (Tex. App. – El Paso Feb. 5, 2014) (citing Garcia v. Garcia, 170 S.W.3d 644, 648 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2005, no pet.)).
  • “Mandamus will issue to correct a discovery order if the order constitutes a clear abuse of discretion and there is no adequate remedy by appeal.” In re Office of Attorney General, No. 02-13-00455-CV (Tex. App. – Fort Worth Feb. 6, 2014, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (citing In re Olshan Foundation Repair Co., 328 S.W.3d 883, 887 (Tex. 2010)).
  • “We review the trial court’s ruling on a post-divorce motion for enforcement or clarification of a divorce decree for an abuse of discretion.” Beshears v. Beshears, No. 05-12-01576-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Jan. 30, 2014) (citing Hollingsworth v. Hollingsworth, 274 S.W.3d 811, 815 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2008, no pet.)).
  • “A trial court’s ruling on a motion for enforcement or clarification of a divorce decree is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard.” Everett v. Everett, No. 08-12-00035-CV (Tex. App. – El Paso Jan. 29, 2014) (citing Murray v. Murray, 276 S.W.3d 138, 143 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2008, pet. dism’d); Hollingsworth v. Hollingsworth, 274 S.W.3d 811, 815 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2008, no pet.)).
  • “We review a trial judge’s decision on a petition to modify under an abuse-of-discretion standard.” In re S.N.Z., No. 05-11-01728-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Jan. 28, 2014) (citing In re W.C.B., 337 S.W.3d 510, 513 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2011, no pet.); In re S.E.K., 294 S.W.3d 926, 930 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009, pet. denied)).
  • A conservatorship determination. In re D.C., No. 11-13-00197-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Jan. 3, 2014) (mem. op.).
  • Allowing a trial amendment to a termination petition. In re G.L.O., No. 11-13-00211-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Jan. 9, 2014) (mem. op.).
  • Denial of a motion for new trial. In re N.L.T.  & In re M.T., Nos. 05-13-00692-CV & 05-13-00693-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Jan. 15, 2014) (citing Walker v. Texas Dep’t of Fam. & Protective Servs., 312 S.W.3d 608 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. denied)).
  • A trial court’s decision to exclude evidence. Nichol v. Nichol, No. 07-12-00035-CV (Tex. App. – Amarillo Jan. 15, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing In re J.P.B., 180 S.W.3d 570, 575 (Tex. 2005)).
  • “A trial court’s order modifying conservatorship is reviewed for abuse of discretion.” Nichol v. Nichol, No. 07-12-00035-CV (Tex. App. – Amarillo Jan. 15, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing Gillespie v. Gillespie, 644 S.W.2d 449, 451 (Tex. 1982)).
  • “We review a trial court’s decision regarding custody, control, and possession matters involving a child under an abuse of discretion standard.” In re C.R.J., No. 06-13-00053-CV (Tex. App. – Texarkana Jan. 17, 2014) (mem. op.) (quoting In re A.L.W., 356 S.W.3d 564, 566 (Tex. App. – Texarkana 2011, no pet.) (citing Gillespie v. Gillespie, 644 S.W.2d 449, 451 (Tex. 1982)).
  • Failing to analyze or apply the UCCJEA correctly. In re Walker, No. 01-13-00922-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 23, 2014, orig. proceeding) (citing Powell v. Stover, 165 S.W.3d 322,324 (Tex. 2005)).
  • Misapplying the law to “the established facts of the case.” In re Bigham, No. 10-132-00355-CV (Tex. App. – Waco Jan. 23, 2014, orig. proceeding) (men. op.) (citing Beaumont Bank, N.A. v. Buller, 806 S.W.2d 223, 226 (Tex. 1991)).

Clear and Convincing Evidence

  • “The termination of parental rights must be supported by clear and convincing evidence.” In re J.C.H. a/k/a/ J.C.E & E.C.H., No. 11-13-00223-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Jan. 16, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing Tex. Fam. Code § 161.001).

De Novo

  • “Whether a divorce decree is ambiguous is a question of law we review de novo.” Beshears v. Beshears, No. 05-12-01576-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Jan. 30, 2014) (citing Coker v. Coker, 650 S.W.2d 391, 394 (Tex. 1983)).
  • “Whether a court has subject-matter jurisdiction is a question of law, subject to de novo review.” Okoh-Brown v. Brown, No. 01-13-00096-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 28, 2014) (citing Graber v. Fuqua, 279 S.W.3d 608, 631 (Tex. 2009); Black v. Wash. Mut. Bank, 318 S.W.3d 414, 416 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, pet. dism’d w.o.j.)).

Factual Sufficiency

  • In a termination case, to determine if the evidence is factually sufficient, “we give due deference to the finding and determine whether, on the entire record, a factfinder could reasonably form a firm belief or conviction about the truth of the allegations against the parent.” In re J.C.H. a/k/a/ J.C.E & E.C.H., No. 11-13-00223-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Jan. 16, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 25-26 (Tex. 2002).

Legal Sufficiency

  • “To determine on appeal if the evidence is legally sufficient in a parental termination case, we review all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding and determine whether a rational trier of fact could have formed a firm belief or conviction that its finding was true.” In re J.C.H. a/k/a/ J.C.E & E.C.H., No. 11-13-00223-CV (Tex. App. – Eastland Jan. 16, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing In re J.P.B., 180 S.W.3d 570, 573 (Tex. 2005)).
  • “In reviewing a ‘no evidence’ or legal-sufficiency complaint, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the challenged verdict, and indulge every reasonable inference that would support it. We credit favorable evidence if a reasonable fact finder could and disregard contrary evidence unless a reasonable fact finder could not. When the evidence falls within the zone of reasonable disagreement, we may not substitute our judgment for that of the fact-finder. Henry v. Henry, No. 03-11-00253-CV (Tex. App. – Austin Apr. 18, 2014) (mem. op.) (citing City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W. 802 (Tex. 2005)).

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