A Texas Court May Enforce an Indemnity Provision Concerning Florida Realty

When a former husband defaulted on the note on a Florida condo awarded to him in his Texas divorce, the Texas court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to order the husband to remove the former wife as a defendant in the subsequent Florida foreclosure suit because that would be tantamount to quieting title to realty located outside Texas. The Texas court did, however, have jurisdiction to determine whether the former husband should pay the former wife’s expenses in connection with the Florida proceeding and to consider whether the indemnity provisions of the divorce decree should be enforced. Whether the former husband should be liable for the former wife’s expenses “falls within the parameters of a motion to enforce under the Family Code and does not constitute an adjudication of title. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 9.007(a).” Okoh-Brown v. Brown, No. 01-13-00096-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 28, 2014).

Section 9.007(a) reads:

(a) A court may not amend, modify, alter, or change the division of property made or approved in the decree of divorce or annulment. An order to enforce the division is limited to an order to assist in the implementation of or to clarify the prior order and may not alter or change the substantive division of property.

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