Brown v. Brown (1996)

In Brown v. Brown, 917 S.W.2d 358 (Tex. App.--El Paso 1996, no writ), the proceedings were bifurcated: child custody was tried to a jury and child support and property division were tried to the court. Id. at 359; see Tex. R. Civ. P. 174(b). The proceedings were not severed into separate lawsuits as in this case. The wife's appeal challenged only the child support and property division issues. Brown, 917 S.W.2d at 359. The court of appeals held that because the wife did not include the reporter's record from the jury trial in the appellate record, and had not complied with the rules permitting appeal on a partial record, the court had to presume the omitted record supported the trial court's judgment. Id. at 360. The concurring justice joined in the majority's conclusion regarding the partial record. Id. at 364-65 (McClure, J., concurring). However, he wrote separately to "address the procedural quicksand" resulting from the practice of bifurcation in family law cases. Id. at 360-61 (McClure, J., concurring). In doing so, he indicated it was improper to sever a SAPCR from a divorce. Id. at 361-62 (McClure, J., concurring).