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More Fees for Husband’s Appeal After Remand

After reversing an equitable distribution order based on the parties’ prenuptial agreement,  the Court of Appeals says husband’s second appeal of the trial court order on remand seeks to relitigate issues previously decided and awards wife appellate attorney fees for both appeals.

Husband and wife divorced after 17 years of marriage; the final decree ordered the sale of real property and equitably distributed to wife 50 percent interest in real property, as well as an investment account; husband was also ordered to pay wife $331,294 withdrawn from a joint line of credit account.  Husband successfully appealed the equitable distribution order as to the real property and investment account based on the parties’ prenuptial agreement.  Husband’s other assignments of error were procedurally defaulted or rejected.  On remand, the trial court reversed its equitable distribution awards to wife but affirmed sale of the real property because husband procedurally defaulted this issue on appeal.  The trial court denied husband’s first timely motion for rehearing and a second motion the court learned about more than 21 days after its ruling.

On appeal, wife seeks dismissal for procedural errors.  We reject wife’s motion to dismiss based on confusion in the docket numbers when husband filed an amended notice of appeal; wife was on notice of what husband was appealing and not prejudiced.  Contrary to wife’s contention, husband preserved his objections to the remand order in his closing argument and first motion for rehearing related to sale of the real property.  The remand rule forecloses husband’s attempt to relitigate issues previously decided.  Husband procedurally defaulted his prior appeal on the sale of the real estate parcel and line of credit.  Husband failed to make a timely motion with supporting evidence for revaluing the real estate parcel:  he made no objection when the court ruled and presented no evidence of current value in his motion after the court ruled.  We deny husband attorney’s fees and award them to wife for both appeals, including fees incurred on remand to determine their amount.

Affirmed and remanded.

Parsons v. Parsons (Per Curiam) Nos. 2184-12-4, 2352-12-4, June 4, 2013; Fairfax Cir. Ct. (Kassabian) Marilyn Ann Soloman for appellant; Gerald R. Curran for appellee. VLW 013-7-164(UP), 8 pp.

VLW 013-7-164

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