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equitable distribution

Sep 7, 2012

Civil Practice – Intervention Order – Nunc Pro Tunc – Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Family-Owned Company

Whitworth v. Whitworth Three years after the trial judge told counsel to prepare an order allowing a family-owned company to intervene in this equitable distribution action, and two and a half years after the action concluded, the district court did not have jurisdiction to enter, nunc pro tunc, an order allowing the intervention.

Aug 14, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Distributional Factors – Hiding Assets – Failure to Maintain Marital Residence

Newsome v. Newsome Where the plaintiff-husband attempted to hide marital assets by producing falsified documentation and testimony, and where he failed to maintain the marital home during the two years he lived there after the parties separated, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it distributed 74 percent of the marital estate to the defendant-wife and only 26 percent to th[...]

Aug 8, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Disability Benefits – NFL Injury

Wright v. Wright Defendant received line-of-duty disability benefits as part of his retirement plan because “during his playing days, he … incurred a ‘substantial disablement arising out of NFL football activities.’” The trial court reasoned that these benefits are paid to individuals whose injuries render them unable to continue to play football, but who may continue to work in[...]

Aug 8, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution — Pretrial Order – Set Aside Ex Mero Motu – Delay – Constitutional – Due Process

Plomaritis v. Plomaritis Eighteen months after an equitable distribution trial, and without prior notice to the parties, the trial court, on its own motion, set aside the pretrial order that contained the parties’ detailed stipulations as to marital and divisible property. The trial court abused its discretion.

Aug 7, 2012

Civil Practice – Contempt – Burden of Proof – Waiver – Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Car Loan

Moss v. Moss Where an assistant clerk of court – rather than a judicial official – entered the show cause order, plaintiff should have borne the burden of proving that defendant was in contempt. However, since defendant failed to object and acquiesced when the trial court asked her to show why she should not be held in contempt, defendant waived the right to complain about this proced[...]

Jul 24, 2012

Domestic Relations – Arbitration – Equitable Distribution – Passive Increase in Value – Life Insurance – Retirement Accounts – Mortgage Reduction

Kiell v. Kiell The record shows that the increase in the value of two life insurance policies was approximately twice the amount of the premiums paid during the post-separation period. Policy statements from the insurer clarify that approximately half the increase in the policies’ values during this period was from interest and dividends. The arbitrator erred in finding that there was n[...]

Jul 19, 2012

Civil Practice – New Trial Motion – Recused Judge – Insufficient Showing – Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution

Sisk v. Sisk A trial judge entered an equitable distribution order and then, after plaintiff moved for a new trial, recused himself. Once the trial judge recused himself, the new trial motion could not be heard by another trial judge; instead, this court must decide the motion.

Jun 5, 2012

Domestic Relations – Alimony – Dependent Spouse – Unsustainable Lifestyle – Equitable Distribution –Insufficient Findings

Bodie v. Bodie The defendant-wife was unable to show that she was a dependent spouse because there is a surplus left each month, after deducting all of her expenses from her net monthly income. Even though the wife contends that this is only possible because she lowered her standard of living compared to what the parties maintained when they were married, the evidence showed that the part[...]

May 10, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Trial Court’s Calculations – Remand

Schweizer v. Patterson The equitable distribution order appears (1) without explanation, to ignore the fact that certain assets were stipulated to be separate property and (2) to improperly consider passive increases to the value of separate property. Moreover, using the figures set out in the order, our calculations do not match those of the trial court.

May 9, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Marital Residence – Rental Value — Classification – Vehicles & Equipment

McCollum v. McCollum Following the parties’ separation, the defendant-husband maintained most of the marital debts. After recognizing the husband’s payments, the trial court granted the plaintiff-wife a set-off against these payments based on the rental value of the marital residence because the husband remained there after the separation ...

May 9, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Unequal Division – Husband’s Mismanagement

Melson v. Crane Where the plaintiff-husband’s poor management of the defendant-wife’s investment account led to a loss of $57,503, the trial court did not err when it awarded an unequal division of marital property in favor of the wife.

May 8, 2012

Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Retirement Account Division – Business Valuation – Personal Injury Settlement Classification

Curtis v. Curtis The trial court should have applied the coverture fraction (the numerator representing the number of years of marriage which occurred simultaneously with the employment which earned the pension, and the denominator representing the total years of employment during which the pension accrued) to the accrued benefits of the plaintiff-husband’s 401(k) plan, calculated as of[...]

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