Ex parte Johns – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Ex parte Johns, 807 S.W.2d 768 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1991, no writ) the plaintiff in that case contended that a child support order was ambiguous and, therefore, not enforceable by a contempt action.

The Johnses' divorce decree stated that Johns was to pay $ 529.50 per child in two equal installments per month, with the first installment due on November 1, 1981, and a like installment due on each 15th and 1st day of the month thereafter, and reasonable and necessary, non-elective medical care for said children until a child with respect to whom payments are being made reaches 18 years of age, dies, . . .Id at 773.

The court of appeals in Ex parte Johns held that the use of the word "the" before the singular "month thereafter" did not obligate the defendant to only the one month following the order.