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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, Armando Valenzuela, appeals the property division in his divorce from the appellee, Mary Parra. Parra filed for divorce on Dec. 16, 2003. She later amended her petition to allege a common law marriage beginning in April 1993. On Aug. 30, 2004, the trial court held a hearing, finding that a common law marriage existed as of 1994. The trial court held a bench trial on the remaining issues on Dec. 1, 2004. With regard to the real property located at 7509 Monterrey, which is the subject of this appeal, Valenzuela stated that when his parents purchased the house, he and Parra rented it, along with his sister and her husband. Valenzuela conceded that in 2002, his parents conveyed a one-half interest in the property, however, he testified that the house did not really belong to him because the transaction was intended to be like a will. Valenzuela also stated that his parents gave the down payment, but he and Parra were the ones who moved into the house with his sister and her husband, and Valenzuela paid for the house. Valenzuela’s mother testified that she and her husband purchased the house at 7509 Monterrey in 1993. According to the mother, the warranty deed was conveyed so that in case she died, her son would take possession of the house. Valenzuela’s father testified that he, his wife, and Valenzuela own the property. In the final divorce decree, the trial court characterized Valenzuela’s undivided one-half interest in the property as community property and awarded Valenzuela’s interest to Parra. HOLDING:Affirmed. Valenzuela did not claim the disputed property as his separate property. Rather, he denied having any present interest in the house. The evidence clearly shows that in 2002, Valenzuela’s parents conveyed an undivided interest in the house at 7509 Monterrey. Valenzuela’s father testified that he, his wife, and Valenzuela owned the property and Valenzuela conceded to the same at the final divorce hearing. All parties agreed that Valenzuela was making the mortgage payments on the property. Valenzuela does not dispute the trial court’s finding of a common law marriage between him and Parra as of 1994. Thus, Valenzuela’s interest in the house was acquired during the marriage and he presented no clear and convincing evidence to establish it as his separate property. The trial court had sufficient information concerning Valenzuela’s ownership interest to exercise its discretion and did not err in concluding that this interest was part of the parties’ community property, the court holds. OPINION:David Wellington Chew, J.; Barajas, C.J., McClure and Chew, J.J.

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