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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A 1980 divorce decree between Ella Mae Ferguson Jones and Scott Ferguson described generally how Ferguson’s retirement funds were to be divided once he retired. As Ferguson neared retirement, Jones’ efforts to obtain her desired portion of those funds has resulted in four successive qualified domestic relations orders. From the trial court’s last QDRO (QDRO Four), providing Jones seven forty-sevenths of Ferguson’s retirement funds, Jones appeals. HOLDING:Affirmed. A trial court has continuing jurisdiction to enter a QDRO permitting payments of retirement benefits when they become payable. Texas Family Code 9.103 allows creation of a QDRO, 9.104 allows correction of a QDRO that is defective, and 9.008 allows clarification of a QDRO that is technically adequate but for some reason needs to be made clearer. The court concludes QDRO Four clarifies QDRO One. The purpose of clarification is to enforce compliance with the original division of property. In this case, QDRO Four clarified the benefit division of QDRO One after Ferguson’s retirement date occurred and the exact formula became known. Therefore, under 9.008, clarification was available, and the trial court had the authority to render QDRO Four. QDRO One ordered payment of seven divided by the years of creditable service earned at the time of distribution. Motions to clarify or otherwise change the outcome were filed. QDRO One was not completely clear, because the complete numbers were not supplied. QDROs Two and Three both did much more than just clarify QDRO One, and thus cannot be valid orders of the trial court. QDRO Four provides exact numbers for calculation. Thus, QDRO Four is indeed the final, clarified order, and the appeal is properly before the court. The court turns to Jones’ issues raised on appeal. Jones contends the trial court erred in QDRO Four by using the wrong number as the numerator. The original decree bears a typewritten numerator, “twelve and one half,” which Jones says was mysteriously struck by hand, and “seven” substituted in its place. Jones points to her own 1980 testimony to show twelve and one half was the numerator she “agreed to,” and says she did not remember the number seven being discussed or written into the judgment. She argues that the handwritten numerator in the decree was necessarily invalid and should not have been used by the trial court in “clarifying” the decree with QDROs One or Four. But, while the change to the decree is obvious, there is no evidence the change was made by anyone other than the trial court while it had the power to do so. Therefore, the presumption of the decree’s validity stands, with “seven” as the numerator. QDRO One, in defining the numerator as “seven” and the denominator as the “number of creditable years of service,” was a proper clarification of the decree’s intent. And, even if it was not a proper clarification, it was issued at Jones’ request, employed her requested language, went unchallenged, and became final. In QDRO Four, the trial court correctly expressed the intent of the decree and QDRO One, and thus was correct in defining the denominator as forty-seven, Ferguson’s creditable years of service, the court concludes. OPINION:Morriss, C.J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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