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Cases of Interest: Appreciation of Assets
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

COLORADO: In re Hunt, 22 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1088 (Colo. 1995).
In a major decision addressing an issue of first impression, the Colorado Supreme Court has held that the marital estate's percentage interest applies to the entire amount of retirement benefits received by each spouse, including postdivorce appreciation.
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FLORIDA: Pagano v. Pagano, 665 So. 2d 370 (Fla. DCA 1996).
The appreciated portion of the husband's interest in a family plumbing supply business was marital property, since his marital labor as president and operations manager contributed to the appreciation.
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FLORIDA: Robbie v. Robbie, 654 So. 2d 616 (Fla. DCA 1995).
The appreciation of the husband's interest in a closely held family corporation was marital property even though he was not the key decisionmaker, where he was employed full-time as the general manager and contributed by carrying out the decisions made by others.
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FLORIDA: Webb v. Webb, 636 So. 2d 883 (Fla. DCA 1994).
Appreciation of the husband's separate businesses was marital property, since he worked in the businesses during the marriage.
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GEORGIA: Horsley v. Horsley, ___ Ga. ___, 490 S.E.2d 392 (1997).
Under the "source of funds" rule, the spouse contributing nonmarital property is entitled to an interest in the property in the ratio of the nonmarital investment to the total nonmarital and marital investment, with the remaining property to be characterized as marital.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Raad, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 704 N.E.2d 964 (1998).
The increase in value during marriage of the premarital portion of the wife's individual retirement account must be classified as her nonmarital property.
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INDIANA: Paxton v. Paxton, 709 N.E.2d 31 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband should receive as his share of the wife's IRA not only the amount awarded to him in the parties' dissolution decree but also the proportionate increase in value of his share of the IRA from the decree until payment.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Grady-Woods, 577 N.W.2d 851 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998).
It was inequitable to deny the wife any portion of the increase in value of the husband's business, considering her contribution as a homemaker during the parties' seven-year marriage.
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MAINE: Williams v. Williams, 645 A.2d 1118 (Me. 1994).
The entire appreciation of an asset could be allocated to the marital estate even though part of the asset was the husband's separate premarital property, given evidence of unspecified marital contributions to the property and the lack of evidence about appreciation attributable to the nonmarital contribution.
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MARYLAND: Jandorf v. Jandorf, ___ Md. App. ___, 641 A.2d 971 (1994).
The marital and nonmarital portions of an asset's present value should be in the same proportion as the value of the marital and nonmarital contributions to the property.
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MINNESOTA: Robert v. Zygmunt, 652 N.W.2d 537 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).
The wife's father died, leaving substantial assets in trust for the wife's mother. Remainder interests were owned by the children, including the wife. For tax planning reasons, the mother and the children purchased shares of stock out of the trust. The purchase price was paid with notes. Payments on the notes were made by redeeming shares held by the trust as security for the obligation.
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MISSISSIPPI: Waring v. Waring, 722 So. 2d 723 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998).
The wife was entitled to equitable distribution of the part of the increase in value during the marriage of the husband's business holdings that was fairly attributable to the active efforts of either of the parties during the marriage.
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MISSOURI: Alexander v. Alexander, 956 S.W.2d 957 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997).
The trial court's findings were not sufficiently specific to properly apply the "source of funds" formula to classify the increase in value of the marital home.
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NEW YORK: Chan v. Chan, ___ A.D.2d ___, 701 N.Y.S.2d 114 (1999).
The wife was entitled to 25% of the appreciation in value of the marital residence.
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NEW YORK: Allen v. Allen, ___ A.D.2d ___, 693 N.Y.S.2d 708 (1999).
Appreciation in the value of separate property due to market forces is not subject to equitable distribution, but the nontitled wife was entitled to share in an increase in value that resulted from her own efforts.
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NEW YORK: Francis v. Francis, ___ A.D.2d ___, 692 N.Y.S.2d 263 (1999).
The wife was not entitled to credit for one-half of all real estate taxes paid on the marital residence, since such taxes were paid with marital funds. The wife was entitled to the appreciation in value of the residence, however.
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NEW YORK: Spencer v. Spencer, ___ A.D.2d ___, 646 N.Y.S.2d 674 (1996).
Funds inherited by the husband were his separate property, but the increase in value of the funds due to his management of the investment was marital property.
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NEW YORK: Du Jack v. Du Jack, ___ A.D.2d ___, 632 N.Y.S.2d 895 (1995).
Part of the appreciation of the husband's interest in a family-run business from the date of the parties' marriage until the sale of the business was marital property, where the husband engaged in substantial active efforts with respect to the business, even though the sale price exceeded the value of the business under standard accounting principles.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Smith v. Smith, ___ N.C. ___, 444 S.E.2d 420 (1994).
The trial court must make ultimate findings of fact as to whether postseparation appreciation of the marital estate is active or passive.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Conway v. Conway, ___ N.C. App. ___, 508 S.E.2d 812 (1998).
Although the husband's medical license was not marital property, the trial court was justified under the circumstances in making an award to the wife in excess of the total net value of the marital estate.
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OHIO: Middendorf v. Middendorf, ___ Ohio St. 3d ___, 696 N.E.2d 575 (1998).
The increase in value of the husband's separate business was marital property, where he worked in the business during the marriage as co-owner and manager.
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SOUTH DAKOTA: Bennett v. Bennett, 516 N.W.2d 672 (S.D. 1994).
The wife was entitled to share in the appreciated value of cattle which the husband brought into the marriage, in view of the parties' efforts over the years to maintain the herd.
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TENNESSEE: Harrison v. Harrison, 912 S.W.2d 124 (Tenn. 1995).
The increase in value of real estate given to the husband by his family could not be classified as marital property, where the increase resulted solely from the construction of a nearby interstate highway and the wife did not substantially contribute to the preservation or appreciation of the property.
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VERMONT: Leas v. Leas, ___ Vt. ___, 737 A.2d 889 (1999).
The family court had the authority to order the husband to consider any increase or decrease in investment accounts at the time of the transfer of the wife's share.
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VIRGINIA: Martin v. Martin, ___ Va. App. ___, 489 S.E.2d 727 (1997).
Where the wife recognized that a home was undervalued and convinced the husband to invest his separate funds in it, she contributed "personal effort" for the purpose of determining how to classify the increase in value of the property.
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VIRGINIA: Rowe v. Rowe, 24 Va. App. 123, 480 S.E.2d 760 (1997).
When classifying the increase in value of the husband's premarital stock in a family newspaper business, the trial court should consider the impact of passive economic factors and the efforts of the husband's brother as well as the extent to which the marital estate had already been adequately compensated for the husband's efforts.
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VIRGINIA: Moran v. Moran, 29 Va. App. 408, 512 S.E.2d 834 (1999).
The husband should been awarded the passive increase in value on his premarital investment in his employer's defined contribution pension plan.
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VIRGINIA: Hart v. Hart, 27 Va. App. 46, 497 S.E.2d 496 (1998).
Marital and nonmarital components of hybrid property may be apportioned in the same percentages as their respective contributions to the total equity in the property. The value of improvements, not their cost, should be considered when determining contributions.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Smith v. Smith, ___ W. Va. ___, 475 S.E.2d 881 (1996).
A spouse's participation as an officer or director of a corporation together with significant stock ownership by a spouse constitutes sufficient participation to qualify as active appreciation, and when coupled with full-time work activity by the spouse for the corporation, some portion of the increase in value of the business must be classified as marital property.
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WYOMING: Davis v. Davis, 980 P.2d 322 (Wyo. 1999).
Evidence of appreciation was sufficient to find increased value in the marital home for the purposes of equitable distribution.
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