Here’s another case that shows you always need to present some evidence at a default judgment, this time for child support.
The case is In re R.G.A.C.L.G., No. 05-19-00846-CV, 2020 WL 4281953 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2020, no pet. h.) (mem. op.) (07-27-20).
During the default prove-up, Mother testified that Father was a real estate broker, had an insurance license, once had a law license in several states, and had no disabilities. At the close of the hearing, the trial court signed a default final order that, in relevant part, ordered Father to pay $813 in child support per month. Father appealed.
The appellate Court agreed with the Father that the Mother presented no evidence beyond these statements on the issue of child support. As a result, the trial court lacked sufficient information on which to exercise its discretion concerning the amount of child support Father must pay. The case was sent back to the trial court and while support was presumable ordered there after the appeal, Mother must have spent thousands of dollars in attorney fees getting to that point.
This is really common situation. You file a suit to set or change child support and the other parent does not provide you with any income info or show up to the hearing. I always work around this by having my client review the Department of Labor statistics for what professions pay in the Central Texas area. Additionally, the client can review help wanted postings to get some sense of what the other parties’ profession or skill set pays.