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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:David and Linda Boyd separated in 2002 after 13 years of marriage. Linda filed for divorce, and in temporary orders, Linda was to stay in the marital residence, David was to pay the mortgage, David was also to pay spousal maintenance, and they were both directed to divide the proceeds from a money market account. Linda’s attorney withdrew from representing her several months prior to the trial. Linda, thus, represented herself at the Oct. 29, 2002, hearing. During David’s case in chief, he introduced seven exhibits into evidence without objection from Linda: 1. a list of assets that David claimed were Linda’s separate property; 2. a list of assets that David claimed were his separate property; 3. a list of assets that David requested the court award to Linda; 4. David’s first amended inventory and appraisement that identified the parties’ assets and listed David’s claims regarding the character and value of each asset; 5. a list of assets that David requested the court award to him; 6. a summary of the proposed division of the parties’ community property; and 7. a summary of David’s claim for economic contribution. David also testified to the nature of property in each list, but he did not provide any documentary evidence or substantiate his classifications. As part of his inventory claiming economic contribution, David testified that he and Linda had secured a $350,000 mortgage for a residence in Parker County. David said he made a $200,000 down payment using money he collected by selling cars and a house he was awarded in a prior divorce. David estimated that his down payment, plus his portion of the community assets used to pay the mortgage equaled $294,456 of the $315,000 in net equity left on the Parker County house, which was estimated as being worth $450,000, leaving the community equity in the residence at $20,543. He asked for economic contribution and for the court to award him the house with the remaining equity. David did not enter any documentary evidence to support his facts and figures, but Linda did not question him. During her case, she attempted to introduce appraisal evidence, but the trial court sustained David’s objection to it, which was based on Linda’s failure to answer discovery requests. The trial court granted the parties’ divorce and divided the community estate pursuant to David’s exhibits. The trial court denied Linda’s timely motion for a new trial. On appeal, Linda contests both the grant of divorce and the division of the property. HOLDING:Divorce affirmed; property division reversed and remanded. Linda first argues that the trial court erred by granting David’s claim for economic contribution and by considering David’s claim for economic contribution as a factor in valuing the community estate. Specifically, she argues the evidence was factually and legally insufficient to overcome the presumption that the property he used to make the contribution was community property. The court confirms that in order to overcome the community property presumption, the burden is on the spouse claiming that some property is separate to trace and clearly identify the property as such. It is not enough to show that separate funds could have been the source of a subsequent deposit of funds to the community estate, the court adds. The court also confirms that if property is established to be separate, and it was used to enhance the value of the community estate, including reducing the community debt, the spouse who contributed the separate property has an equitable right of reimbursement. The spouse seeking economic contribution must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the funds expended to reduce the community debt were separate funds. The court agrees with Linda that David’s uncorroborated testimony is legally and factually insufficient to rebut the community property presumption by clear and convincing evidence and to prove the separate character of the property establishing David’s claim for economic contribution. The court rejects David’s reliance on Newland v. Newland, 529 S.W.2d 105 (Tex.Civ.App. � Fort Worth 1975, writ dism’d), which David says stands for the proposition that uncorroborated evidence is sufficient when not contradicted. The court finds that the Newland case actually involved documentary evidence � bank records, e.g. � that corroborated the spouse’s testimony, so it does not create a per se rule that uncorroborated, uncontradicted testimony is sufficient. In this case, David did not present any documentary evidence to establish the separate origin of the money he used to make a down payment on the Parker County house: no financial records, deeds, titles, or closing statements, not to mention documents proving fair market value, principal amount of the debt, or the equity on the Parker County residence. “Our review of the record indicates that David did not discharge his burden to rebut the community presumption by clear and convincing evidence with regard to the funds he claimed were proceeds of his separate property.” The court also agrees with Linda that this error was harmful. The property division, not including the $294,456 David claimed was separate, was reasonable: 53 percent for Linda, 47 percent for David. But, factoring the $294,456 back into the estate results in an “extremely disproportionate” division in favor of David. OPINION:Walker, J.; Cayce, C.J., Livingston and Walker, JJ.

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