Family Law

Jun 5, 2023

Trial court’s findings on profit-sharing plan upheld

Where the trial court ruled that husband did not disclose his profit-sharing plan to wife, and, that under the parties’ property settlement agreement, wife was entitled to one-half of the plan, there was no error. Further, the court properly ruled that husband could deduct his tax rate from his payment to wife. No disclosure “Husband […]

Jun 5, 2023

Court applied correct standard in adoption case

Appellants failed to object to the court’s statement that the preponderance of the evidence standard applies in this grandparent adoption proceeding. As a result, the issue cannot be reviewed on appeal. Moreover, the court stated in the adoption order that it used the “clear and convincing” standard to review the matter. Failure to object Appellants […]

Jun 1, 2023

No best interest analysis for child’s relocation

“When granting primary physical custody to a parent in an initial custody determination, the trial court need not separately determine whether living out-of-state is in the best interests of the child, if the prospective custodial parent already lives out of state.” Background Coffey, the child’s mother, and Brandon, the child’s father, jointly agreed that the […]

May 31, 2023

No modification of custody and visitation

Where the trial court declined to modify its custody and visitation order to give father more time with the parties’ child, there was no error. Best interest “Father argues that the trial court erred by not modifying the custody and visitation order and granting him more time with the [parties’ nine-year-old] child. … “Father asks […]

May 23, 2023

Property settlement amendment correctly enforced

Where the marital home became wife’s sole and separate property after the parties amended their property settlement agreement (PSA), the trial court had the authority to enforce the amendment and correctly did so with a declaratory judgment. PSA amendment “At the time of the divorce, the PSA stated: ‘[U]nless the parties agree otherwise in writing, […]

May 23, 2023

Court properly found wife deserted marriage

Even though the record supports grounds for divorce based on the parties living apart for a year or more, the record also supports the trial court’s finding that wife deserted the marriage. The trial court was free to choose either ground. Further, the trial court properly “granted wife a reservation of spousal support in the […]

May 11, 2023

Claims in complaint would not violate no-contest clause

The trial court correctly issued a declaratory judgment that litigation of a trust beneficiary’s claims, which accuse his sister “of obtaining certain gifts from their parents through undue influence or fraud, thereby depleting their parents’ trusts and eroding [the beneficiary’s] inheritance,” would not violate the trust’s no-contest clause. The complaint was fashioned “according to[...]

May 11, 2023

Court’s spousal support award to wife affirmed

Where the trial court awarded wife spousal support and ordered husband to maintain her as a beneficiary of two life insurance policies, there was no error. Support “Husband challenges the circuit court’s spousal support award of $3,505 per month to wife. … “The circuit court found that wife had ‘no income.’ The circuit court further […]

May 1, 2023

Tortious interference with parent rights case dismissed

Where appellant alleged that appellees tortiously interfered with his parental rights involving the parties’ minor child, the trial court correctly sustained appellees’ demurrer. Background Appellant Qiu and his wife married in 1995. When they separated, their daughter, M.Q., was eight years old. In 2016, while the divorce and custody matters were pending, the father filed […]

Apr 27, 2023

Aunt denied custody, visitation

Where the father and grandmother appealed a JDR court’s award of custody to a child’s maternal aunt, the circuit court held that the aunt has failed to satisfy the high burden to rebut the presumption that custody should be awarded to the parent. Presumption not overcome “[A] nonparent can overcome the parental presumption by proving, […]

Apr 20, 2023

Support award to wife upheld

Where the circuit court awarded wife $10,000 per month in spousal support, the court’s decision not to impute income to wife is supported by the record. Imputed income “At the outset, husband argues that the trial court should have imputed at least $65,000 of annual investment income to wife because his financial planning expert testified […]

Apr 10, 2023

Federal law permits contract to divide military pension

The Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that “certain indemnification provisions in a property settlement agreement that [wife] entered into with [husband] violated federal law and, therefore, were void ab initio.” Background The parties agreed on a division of husband’s military pension. The circuit court entered a Military Pension Division Order (MPDO) that gave […]

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