Cook v. Cook

In Cook v. Cook, 888 S.W.2d 130 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1994, no writ), the Corpus Christi court of appeals addressed facts similar to those in this case. See 888 S.W.2d 130. In Cook, the trial court orally ruled that the divorce was granted and that Mrs. Cook would receive a 34.8% interest in Mr. Cook's retirement benefits. Id. at 130-31. The trial court subsequently held a hearing to consider the final divorce decree and the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Id. at 131. At that time, the court signed a written decree awarding Mrs. Cook a 100% interest in the benefits. Id. Mr. Cook filed a motion to modify, complaining that the trial court's written decree should be reformed to comport with its oral ruling, and the trial court denied it. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment, stating that "the trial court retained plenary power over its judgment and was free to modify it, which it evidently did when the judge later signed and entered the divorce decree and QDRO. What the appellant claims to be "errors" in the written judgment are actually modifications in the terms of the judgment. Thus, the trial court did not err in signing and entering a decree that differed from the oral rendition." Id. at 132.