Standard for post-divorce receivership?

Stoker v. Stoker (Published Memo): Under the abuse of discretion standard, a court of appeals defers to the trial court’s assesment of the evidence.  But there has to be evidence.  In this post-divorce receivership case, there was no evidence supporting the appointment of a receiver to sell the former marital residence.  The only thing in the record was argument of counsel.  Therefore it was abuse of discretion to appoint a receiver.

OK then, what evidence is needed to support the appointment of a receiver?

Good question.

A trial court’s authority to appoint a receiver stems from Texas Family Code, section 6.502(a)(5).  But, while that statute gives the authority, it doesn’t say when it should be exercised.  So the courts have tried to “extrapolate” what proof should be required.  They haven’t come up with an agreed list of factors yet.  Instead it’s just a series of ad hoc decisions.  Most courts tend to agree that you need to show that: 1.) some sort of harm that will come to the property (or its value) if a receiver isn’t appointed, and 2.) a less harsh remedy would not be able to prevent that harm.

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