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

ALABAMA: James v. James, 764 So. 2d 549 (Ala. Civ. App. 1999).
The couple's antenuptial agreement had been rescinded, the husband's businesses were held to be marital property, and the wife had no interest in the husband's individual retirement account.
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ALASKA: Elliott v. James, 977 P.2d 727 (Alaska 1999).
The parties' condominium purchased by them prior to their marriage was marital property even though the wife used her separate funds for the down payment, where the condominium was used as the marital residence, both parties' names were on the title, and both parties were obligated on a loan used to remodel the condominium.
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ALASKA: Compton v. Compton, 902 P.2d 805 (Alaska 1995).
The parties' prenuptial agreement did not prohibit transmutation of separate property into marital property.
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ALASKA: Hatten v. Hatten, 917 P.2d 667 (Alaska 1996).
The actual character of damages recovered through settlement of a spouse's tort suit, rather than the formal characterization of damages in a settlement agreement, controls whether the damages are separate or marital property.
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ALASKA: Harrelson v. Harrelson, 932 P.2d 247 (Alaska 1997).
The trial court erred in finding that the parties were married for eight years, when in fact they were married for only the last three years of their relationship.
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ALASKA: Lundquist v. Lundquist, 923 P.2d 42 (Alaska 1996).
An award of punitive damages to a spouse should be apportioned in the same manner as the underlying compensatory damages award.
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ARIZONA: Hrudka v. Hrudka, ___ Ariz. ___, 919 P.2d 179 (Ct. App. 1995).
Jewelry that the husband purchased was not necessarily a gift to the wife, rather than an investment, simply because he physically handed over the items to her and she sometimes wore them.
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ARKANSAS: Mason v. Mason, ___ Ark. ___, 895 S.W.2d 513 (1995).
Husband's disability benefits paid by his employer in connection with his long-term physical problems did not fall within the statutory marital-property exemption for personal injury benefits.

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ARKANSAS: Bishop v. Bishop, ___ Ark. App. ___, 961 S.W.2d 770 (1998).
The husband made a valid gift to the son of a certificate of deposit, so the account was not marital property. Parents frequently establish accounts for their children and then fight over the classification of the money when their marriage ends. Williams v. Williams and Bishop v. Bishop both support the view that an account in the name of a child is not marital property.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Elfmont, ___ Cal. 4th ___, 891 P.2d 136 (1995).
Husband's disability insurance benefits were his separate property even though the policies were initially acquired during marriage, because he became entitled to draw benefits only after he had renewed the policies following the parties' separation with premiums paid out of his separate property, and he did not renew the policies with the intent of providing community retirement income.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Renier, 854 P.2d 1382 (Colo. Ct. App. 1993).
Stock shares purchased during marriage with marital funds through options acquired before marriage were marital property. Additional shares husband acquired during marriage were also marital, since he failed to trace those shares to stock split of shares acquired before marriage.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Miller, 915 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1996).
To the extent that an employee stock option is granted in consideration of past services during marriage, the option constitutes marital property when granted.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Foottit, 903 P.2d 1209 (Colo. Ct. App. 1995).
Income received during marriage from separate property is marital property, because it does not fall within the statutory exceptions to marital property.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Speirs, 956 P.2d 622 (Colo. Ct. App. 1997).
Unpaid student loans obtained by the wife during the marriage were marital property and were properly distributed between the parties.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Breckenridge, 973 P.2d 1290 (Colo. Ct. App. 1999).
A lump-sum workers' compensation settlement that was awarded to the husband shortly before the parties' dissolution was his separate property to the extent it compensated him for the loss of postdissolution income or earning capacity.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Huston, 967 P.2d 181 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
Nonvested stock options are not property subject to equitable distribution; any marital component of vested stock options may be distributed through reserved jurisdiction or other appropriate methods.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Bartolo, 971 P.2d 699 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
The parties' former marital residence was the wife's separate property where the husband gave his interest in the property to the wife shortly before the parties separated.
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CONNECTICUT: Kiniry v. Kiniry, 71 Conn. App. 614, 803 A.2d 352 (2002).
Nonvested stock awards are marital property to the extent they were earned during the marriage. "During the marriage" means before divorce, and not before separation. The trial court did not err in awarding the wife 60% of the awards, even though the husband earned them. His direct financial contributions were only one relevant factor, and they were overcome on the facts by the wife's homemaker and child-care contributions.
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CONNECTICUT: Tyc v. Tyc, 40 Conn. App. 562, 672 A.2d 526 (1996).
A spouse's award or claim for workers' compensation is property subject to distribution in a dissolution action.
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CONNECTICUT: Simmons v. Simmons, 244 Conn. 158, 708 A.2d 949 (1998).
A medical degree earned during marriage is not property subject to equitable distribution, but the other spouse is normally entitled to compensation through an alimony award if the couple's assets are insufficient to permit compensation through the property division.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Lewis v. Lewis, 708 A.2d 249 (D.C. 1998).
The proceeds of a settlement for the wrongful death of the wife's child by a prior union were her separate property.
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FLORIDA: Pridgeon v. Pridgeon, 632 So. 2d 257 (Fla. DCA 1994).
Household appliances that wife brought to the marriage must be awarded to her as her nonmarital property.
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FLORIDA: Staman v. Staman, 622 So. 2d 1147 (Fla. DCA 1993).
Accounts receivable from husband's medical practice should have been included in the valuation of marital assets.
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FLORIDA: Smith v. Smith, 655 So. 2d 1267 (Fla. DCA 1995).
Certificates of deposit purchased with the husband's nonmarital funds must be classified as marital property where the husband did not claim before trial that they were nonmarital.
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FLORIDA: Baird v. Baird, 696 So. 2d 844 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997).
Stock shares acquired by the husband before marriage lost their separate character through commingling and various sales and transfers.
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FLORIDA: White v. White, 705 So. 2d 123 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998).
The husband's unrebutted testimony that his personal injury settlement was to compensate for future injuries, losses, and damages established that the entire settlement was his separate property.
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FLORIDA: Miner v. Miner, 727 So. 2d 1080 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband's debt for medical expenses incurred after the parties' separation would be a marital obligation if the injury causing the expenses occurred during the marriage.
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FLORIDA: Walker v. Walker, 719 So. 2d 977 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998).
A settlement received by the husband in his wrongful termination of employment suit was nonmarital property under the "analytic approach," which classifies damages for pain and suffering, loss of future wages, and future medical expenses as separate property.
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FLORIDA: Johnson v. Johnson, 725 So. 2d 1029 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999).
Debts owed by the husband's nonmarital businesses were nonmarital even though they were personally guaranteed by him 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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GEORGIA: Avera v. Avera, ___ Ga. ___, 485 S.E.2d 731 (1997).
Real property transferred to the wife by an irrevocable trust established by the husband with himself as trustee was a gift from a third party, and hence the wife's separate property rather than an interspousal gift.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Gurda, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 711 N.E.2d 339 (1999).
The wife's signed consent to the designation of beneficiary for the husband's IRA did not exclude the IRA from the marital estate.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Heinze, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 631 N.E.2d 728 (1994).
Future royalties from four books authored by the wife during the marriage were marital property, but the husband should be allocated only 25% of the net royalty payments in view of the wife's continuing efforts to generate sales.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Lee, 246 Ill. App. 3d 628, 615 N.E.2d 1314 (1993).
Accounts receivable were properly included in the valuation of the husband's medical practice.

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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Hall, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 663 N.E.2d 430 (1996).
The husband's workers' compensation award was marital property, and granting the wife one-half of the award was not an abuse of discretion.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Morris, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 640 N.E.2d 344 (1994).
Where the husband purchased a winning lottery ticket long after the parties separated but while they were still married, the trial court erred by refusing to award the wife any portion of the husband's lottery winnings on the theory that there was no shared enterprise.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Heinze, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 631 N.E.2d 728 (1994).
During the parties' marriage, wife co-authored five books. Her contract with her publisher provided her with book royalties upon sales of the books. The trial court refused to classify the future royalties as marital property because of their speculative nature.
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INDIANA: In re Marriage of Elkins, No. 09A05-0103-CV-126 (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2002).
The wife claimed that the trial court abused its discretion by including her early retirement benefit as a divisible marital asset and by including in the marital estate a child support arrearage owed to her by her children's father. The couple was married in 1986. Each had been married previously. Each had children with their former spouses, but no children were born in the instant marriage.
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INDIANA: Miller v. Miller, No. 34D02-0004-DR-244 (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 22, 2002).
The wife claimed that the court abused its discretion in its valuation of the marital residence by failing to consider that the wife brought this asset into the marriage. In addition, the wife claimed that the trial court abused its discretion by determining that a child support judgment was an asset of the marriage and awarding the judgment to her when it divided the marital property.
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INDIANA: Fiste v. Fiste, 627 N.E.2d 1368 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994).
Husband's remainder interest in real estate was too remote to characterize as marital property.
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INDIANA: Fuehrer v. Fuehrer, 651 N.E.2d 1171 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995).
Debts incurred by one spouse for medical expenses and other necessaries after the filing of a dissolution petition are not debts of the marriage to be paid out of the marital estate.
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INDIANA: Capehart v. Capehart, 705 N.E.2d 533 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband's debt for loans incurred to finance his higher education before the parties' marriage were properly distributed to him.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Plasencia, 541 N.W.2d 923 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995).
An advanced degree earned during marriage is not a marital asset, although its potential to increase the future earnings of the degree holder is a factor to consider when determining the equitable division of property.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Driscoll, 563 N.W.2d 640 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).
The child support received by the wife for her children from a previous marriage was her nonmarital property because it was not the product of the parties' joint efforts.
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KANSAS: In re Marriage of Monslow, ___ Kan. App. 2d ___, 900 P.2d 249 (1995).
Patents are marital property, which may be distributed through a split of future potential income from the patent.
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KENTUCKY: McGinnis v. McGinnis, 920 S.W.2d 68 (Ky. Ct. App. 1995) (released 1996).
The husband's accrued ownership rights in nonvested shares of stock in a start-up venture capital company were marital property; it was not an abuse of discretion to structure a distribution to allow the wife an in-kind distribution of the stock shares if the company went public within seven years.
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KENTUCKY: Bischoff v. Bischoff, 987 S.W.2d 799 (Ky. Ct. App. 1998).
The exempt character of military disability benefits does not extend to property purchased with those funds.
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LOUISIANA: Barrow v. Barrow, 669 So. 2d 622 (La. Ct. App. 1996).
The husband was not entitled to reimbursement for his financial contributions to the wife's degree in nursing, where he earned nearly $2 million during the period in which she attended school and he did not expect to enjoy a higher standard of living upon her receipt of the degree.
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LOUISIANA: Ramsey v. Ramsey, 682 So. 2d 797 (La. Ct. App. 1996).
It was equitable to apportion the husband's personal injury settlement by classifying $450,000 as community property for loss of earnings and $300,000 as separate property for pain and suffering.
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MAINE: Findlen v. Findlen, 695 A.2d 1216 (Me. 1997).
Shares of stock in a farm owned by the husband's family were marital property because they were acquired as compensation for the husband's labor rather than as a gift, but it was error to divide the shares of stock equally between the parties.
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MAINE: Long v. Long, 697 A.2d 1317 (Me. 1997).
Jointly owned real property is subject to division as marital property even though parts of it were acquired with nonmarital funds.
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MAINE: Simoneau v. Simoneau, 693 A.2d 1135 (Me. 1997).
Property acquired by one party during premarital cohabitation is not marital property subject to equitable distribution.
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MAINE: Williams v. Williams, 706 A.2d 1038 (Me. 1998).
Funds in a savings account in the name of the parties' minor child could not be classified as marital property.
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MARYLAND: Jandorf v. Jandorf, ___ Md. App. ___, 641 A.2d 971 (1994).
Trial court must determine what personal property items are marital, and then value and distribute these assets, rather than simply ordering them to be sold.
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MASSACHUSETTS: Zeh v. Zeh, ___ Mass. App. Ct. ___, 618 N.E.2d 1376 (1993).
Husband's inheritance from his father, who died five years before divorce hearing, fell within category of assets subject to division, even though the legacy had not yet been distributed.
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MICHIGAN: Reeves v. Reeves, 226 Mich. App. 490, 575 N.W.2d 1 (1997) (released 1998).
For the purpose of classifying assets as separate or marital, the trial court cannot include any period of cohabitation that may have occurred before the parties married.
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MINNESOTA: Olsen v. Olsen, 552 N.W.2d 290 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996).
Real property which was conveyed to the parties as joint tenants by the wife's uncle was marital property.
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MISSISSIPPI: Pittman v. Pittman, No. 1999-CA-00147-COA (Miss. Ct. App. June 5, 2001).
The wife contended that the chancellor erred in granting the husband a one-half interest in the equity of the home, which she inherited from her grandmother's one-half interest in the home.
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MISSISSIPPI: Myrick v. Myrick, 739 So. 2d 432 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).
Interspousal gifts given to the wife by the husband were held to be marital property.
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MISSOURI: Ansley v. Ansley, 15 S.W.3d 28 (Mo. Ct. App. 2000).
The evidence in the case supported the finding that the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) were the husband's nonmarital property.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Below, 8 S.W.3d 233 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
A trial court is required to designate the couple's property as marital or separate before dividing the marital property.
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MISSOURI: Brown v. Brown, 14 S.W.3d 704 (Mo. Ct. App. 2000).
The trial court mischaracterized an award of a $29,000 judgment against the husband to the wife, which was intended to equalize the property division. This mischaracterization did not render the award itself error.
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MISSOURI: Hughes v. Hughes, 994 S.W.2d 103 (Mo. Ct App. 1999).
A gift to both spouses is presumed to be marital property; however, marital debt is not marital property. The mere erroneous declaration by the trial court of what is marital property does not require a reversal where the divorce decree is otherwise fair.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Medlock, 990 S.W.2d 186 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
A real estate tract that the husband owned prior to the marriage was marital property under the "source of funds" rule, where the debt for the entire value of the tract was paid with marital funds.
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MISSOURI: Knapp v. Knapp, 874 S.W.2d 520 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994).
Property division was not inequitable, even though the wife's entire pension was set aside as her nonmarital property, given that she did not acquire Social Security benefits through her employment as a teacher while the husband did acquire Social Security benefits through his employment.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Eck, 904 S.W.2d 60 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995).
The trial court's failure to designate property as marital or nonmarital was reversible error.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Smith, 892 S.W.2d 767 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995).
An error in classifying property does not require reversal unless the distribution of property amounted to an abuse of discretion.
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MISSOURI: Burk v. Burk, 936 S.W.2d 144 (Mo. Ct. App. 1996).
Misclassification of property is not reversible error unless it resulted in an unfair distribution or otherwise affected the merits of the action.
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MISSOURI: Sanders v. Sanders, 933 S.W.2d 898 (Mo. Ct. App. 1996).
Under the "source of funds" rule for classifying property, certain stock shares posted to the husband's account during the parties' marriage were his separate property, since those shares were acquired as a result of his labor before marriage.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Perkel, 963 S.W.2d 445 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
The value of software written by the husband during the marriage was marital property.
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MISSOURI: Valdez v. Thierry, 963 S.W.2d 459 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
The parties' 1987 dissolution decree was enforceable despite an allegedly invalid provision classifying the husband's engineering education as marital property and awarding the wife a percentage of the husband's future income.
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MISSOURI: Heslop v. Heslop, 967 S.W.2d 249 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
The husband failed to show that any part of his FELA settlement was his separate property under the "analytic" approach for classifying compensation awards. During the parties' separation, the husband received a net settlement of approximately $52,000 on his claim under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) for injuries sustained on his railroad job two years previously. The trial court classified the settlement as marital property in its entirety.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Hanni, 2000 MT 59, 997 P.2d 760 (2000).
The trial court excluded the husband's profit-sharing plan in his accounting firm from the marital estate when determining equitable division of the marital property.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Smith, ___ Mont. ___, 871 P.2d 884 (1994).
The trial court could not include property inherited by the husband during separation in the marital estate, where the wife did not make any contribution to the inherited property.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Meeks, ___ Mont. ___, 915 P.2d 851 (1996).
The husband's accrued vacation and sick leave was not a distinct marital asset, but should be added, as per his pension plan, to his term of service for purposes of calculating his pension benefits.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Beadle, ___ Mont. ___, 968 P.2d 698 (1998).
A spouse's possible future inheritance may never be included in the marital estate.
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NEBRASKA: Medlock v. Medlock, 263 Neb. 666, 2002.NE.0000157 (Apr. 12, 2002).
In this case, the couple was married in 1972. The husband had been ordained as a minister in 1971 by the Christian Brotherhood, an organization of which the husband was one of the founders. A nonprofit religious corporation was founded in 1978. The wife claimed that the corporation was founded by both her and the husband. The husband claimed that the corporation was founded solely by him.
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NEBRASKA: Gibson-Voss v. Voss, 4 Neb. App. 236, 541 N.W.2d 74 (1995).
A workers' compensation award is marital property only to the extent it recompenses for the couple's loss of income during the marriage.
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NEBRASKA: Ward v. Ward, 7 Neb. App. 821, 585 N.W.2d 551 (1998).
An engagement ring given to a man or a woman before marriage is the donee's nonmarital property upon dissolution of that marriage.
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NEBRASKA: Mathew v. Palmer, 8 Neb. App. 128, 589 N.W.2d 343 (1999).
Proceeds from wife's actions against third parties for medical malpractice and invasion of privacy were her separate property where the injuries were personal to the wife and did not diminish the marital estate, and the husband's contribution of legal services duplicated the efforts of the wife's retained attorneys without adding value to her claims.
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NEW HAMPSHIRE: Flaherty v. Flaherty, ___ N.H. ___, 638 A.2d 1254 (1994).
A New Hampshire court hearing a divorce action correctly applied New Hampshire law which respected the trust document's election of Massachusetts law; Massachusetts law, in turn, dictated that a beneficiary's remainder interest in a trust could be included in the marital estate.
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NEW JERSEY: Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583, 660 A.2d 485 (1995).
Stock options awarded after the filing of a divorce complaint but obtained through efforts expended during marriage are subject to equitable distribution.
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NEW MEXICO: Franklin v. Franklin, ___ N.M. ___, 859 P.2d 479 (Ct. App. 1993).
Lump-sum severance pay received by husband after divorce was his separate property.
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NEW YORK: Allwell v. Allwell, ___ A.D.2d ___, 716 N.Y.S.2d 741 (2000).
The husband claimed that part of his pension represented compensation for personal injuries and thus was not subject to equitable distribution in its entirety.
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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: Raniolo v. Raniolo, ___ A.D.2d ___, 612 N.Y.S.2d 589 (1994).
The trial court erred in crediting the wife with money that she had received from the sale of marital assets before commencement of the divorce action and that she had used to pay off marital debt.
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NEW YORK: Perkins v. Perkins, ___ A.D.2d ___, 641 N.Y.S.2d 396 (1996).
The husband was estopped from contending that he had any interest in a farm titled in the wife's name, where he had testified to the contrary in an earlier action by a third-party creditor against him.
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NEW YORK: Campbell v. Campbell, ___ A.D.2d ___, 624 N.Y.S.2d 493 (1995).
Where a spouse contributes with third persons to a pool of funds used to purchase a winning lottery ticket, the proceeds of the ticket constitute marital property.
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NEW YORK: Gann v. Gann, ___ Misc. 2d ___, 620 N.Y.S.2d 707 (Sup. Ct. 1994).
Payments from a disability insurance policy acquired during the marriage were the husband's separate property.
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NEW YORK: Geisel v. Geisel, ___ A.D.2d ___, 659 N.Y.S.2d 511 (1997).
The husband's inherited funds were transformed to marital property when he placed them in a mutual fund account and stock shares in the parties' names as joint tenants.
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NEW YORK: Brownell v. Brownell, ___ Misc. 2d ___, 646 N.Y.S.2d 221 (Sup. Ct. 1996).
Personal property that the parties purchased at an auction before their wedding was separate property but would nevertheless be divided equally, where it was purchased with commingled funds.
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NEW YORK: Ciaffone v. Ciaffone, ___ A.D.2d ___, 645 N.Y.S.2d 549 (1996).
Items of jewelry given to the wife by the husband during the marriage were correctly classified as marital property.
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NORTH CAROLINA: King v. King, ___ N.C. App. ___, 434 S.E.2d 669 (1993).
Husband's stock in family corporation was marital property where it was acquired by outright purchase during the marriage by borrowing money from the husband's mother; subsequent gifts from the husband's parents which reduced that debt did not create a separate property interest in the stock.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Adams v. Adams, ___ N.C. App. ___, 443 S.E.2d 780 (1994).
Marital funds expended to pay off the husband's separate debt cannot be classified as marital property.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Jones v. Jones, ___ N.C. App. ___, 466 S.E.2d 342 (1996).
A spouse's eligibility for a VA loan does not constitute distributable property, and the use of a spouse's VA loan eligibility to purchase a marital home does not require an unequal division in that spouse's favor.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Holterman v. Holterman, ___ N.C. App. ___, 488 S.E.2d 265 (1997).
The wife failed to carry her burden of proof to show that the parties' investments were traceable to her separate property; moreover, the evidence showed that the wife intended her inherited assets to be a gift to the marital estate.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Becker v. Becker, ___ N.C. ___, 489 S.E.2d 909 (1997).
The husband did not meet his burden of showing that a debt for his dental work was for the joint benefit of the parties so as to justify classifying it as a marital debt.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Crisp v. Crisp, ___ N.C. App. ___, 486 S.E.2d 485 (1997).
A tract of land deeded to both parties during the marriage by the husband's parents was properly classified as marital property in view of evidence that the parents intended to make a gift to the marital estate.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Crisp v. Crisp, ___ N.C. App. ___, 486 S.E.2d 485 (1997).
Medical expenses incurred by the husband for his daughter from a previous marriage were his separate debts, not marital debts.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Boehm v. Boehm, 651 N.W.2d 672 (N.D. 2002).
Where the husband leased a business, but had an option to purchase after the lease was over, the trial court did not err by including the business in the divisible estate. An equal division of the marital home and the wife's retirement benefits was not mandatory. The focus of review is on the fairness of the entire division, and not upon whether individual assets were or were not divided equally.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Fox v. Fox, 592 N.W.2d 541 (N.D. 1999).
Future disability payments do not constitute marital property because they are intended as a replacement for the disabled spouse's future income.
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OHIO: Badovick v. Badovick, 128 Ohio App. 3d 18, 713 N.E.2d 1066 (1999).
The trial court abused its discretion by listing as a marital debt a loan to the wife that took place following the termination of the marriage. In addition, the trial court abused its discretion by awarding the wife jewelry as part of a division of the marital property without first determining the values of that jewelry.
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OHIO: Smith v. Smith, 91 Ohio App. 3d 248, 632 N.E.2d 555 (1993) (published 1994).
Social Security is not a marital asset but must be considered when equitably allocating pension benefits.
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OHIO: Frost v. Frost, 84 Ohio App. 3d 699, 618 N.E.2d 198 (1992) (published 1993).
Trial court did not abuse its discretion by classifying husband's law practice, which had been started 10 years before the marriage, as his separate property, while characterizing the income generated from the practice during the marriage as marital property.
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OHIO: Modon v. Modon, 115 Ohio App. 3d 810, 686 N.E.2d 355 (1996).
The full amount of the husband's personal injury settlement was properly classified as marital property, in view of the husband's failure to prove what part of the settlement was his separate property.
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OKLAHOMA: Earnheart v. Earnheart, 979 P.2d 761 (Okla Civ. App. 1999).
A gift of stock to the couple during the marriage by the husband's mother was joint property subject to equitable distribution.
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OKLAHOMA: Kittredge v. Kittredge, 911 P.2d 903 (Okla. 1995).
The parties' divorce decree was not void on the theory that it improperly divided the husband's future earnings in violation of the state equitable distribution statute, where the husband had agreed to pay the wife a percentage of his future income in lieu of property division.
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OKLAHOMA: Bigbie v. Bigbie, 898 P.2d 1271 (Okla. 1995).
The husband's contractual right to future commissions for renewal premiums on life insurance policies was marital property.
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OKLAHOMA: Dixon v. Dixon, 919 P.2d 28 (Okla. Ct. App. 1996).
Classifying the wife's jewelry as marital property rather than as her separate property was not an abuse of discretion, where the evidence was conflicting about how the jewelry pieces were acquired.
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OREGON: Becker and Becker, 122 Or. App. 567, 858 P.2d 480 (1993).
Although wife's trust interests were not marital property, it was just and proper to award husband $2 million to compensate him for his reliance on those interests for retirement.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Bowers, 136 Or. App. 112, 900 P.2d 1085 (1995).
The couple had not impliedly modified or rescinded their antenuptial contract so as to permit separate assets to be classified as marital property.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Fisher, 148 Or. App. 208, 939 P.2d 149 (1997).
Renewal commissions payable to the husband by the insurance company for which he worked during the marriage were properly treated as a marital asset rather than only as part of the husband's monthly income.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Plitka v. Plitka, 714 A.2d 1067 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).
When a marital asset is transferred between divorcing spouses to prepare for the ultimate distribution of property, the transferred asset retains its marital character.
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PENNSYLVANIA: MacAleer v. MacAleer, 725 A.2d 829 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1999).
Where a stock option is granted to a spouse during the marriage as compensation for services also rendered during the marriage, such an option constitutes marital property even if the right to exercise the option does not mature until after separation.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Drake v. Drake, ___ Pa. ___, 725 A.2d 717 (1999).
A workers' compensation commutation award that accrued during the marriage can be marital property even if it replaces future earnings, but it need not be distributed equally between the divorcing spouses.
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RHODE ISLAND: Becker v. Perkins-Becker, 669 A.2d 524 (R.I. 1996).
The enhanced earning capacity of one spouse from an advanced degree acquired during the marriage is not marital property subject to distribution upon marriage dissolution.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: Marsh v. Marsh, ___ S.C. ___, 437 S.E.2d 34 (1993).
The proceeds of a personal injury settlement acquired during the marriage are entirely marital property.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: Mallett v. Mallett, ___ S.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 804 (Ct. App. 1996).
Termination benefits that the husband would receive following termination of his contract with State Farm were not marital property, because the payments were intended to replace renewal commissions that he would earn in the future.
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SOUTH DAKOTA: Albrecht v. Albrecht, 2000 SD 54, 609 N.W.2d 765 (2000).
The husband received farmland from his parents via a contract for deed, which was not a "gift" from his parents. This transfer should have been included in the parties' marital estate. In addition, the award of farm and road maintenance assets to the husband did not constitute inequitable property division.
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TENNESSEE: Greer v. Greer, No. W2000-02881-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 22, 2002).
The husband appealed the award of the house and property to the wife. The husband claimed that property he obtained, during the marriage, from a property swap with his father and which remained in his title was separate property. The husband also claimed that the court failed to properly value the marital property.
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TENNESSEE: Dunlap v. Dunlap, 996 S.W.2d 803 (Tenn. Ct App. 1998).
The husband had the burden of proving that gifts from his father were his alone and not gifts to the couple jointly.
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TENNESSEE: Ray v. Ray, 916 S.W.2d 469 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).
The present value of the husband's contractual rights as an insurance agent was properly included as marital property.
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TENNESSEE: Brock v. Brock, 941 S.W.2d 896 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997).
Premarital property which no longer exists cannot be classified and distributed upon divorce, but a spouse's contribution of premarital property is a factor for consideration in distributing marital property.
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TENNESSEE: Jahn v. Jahn, 932 S.W.2d 939 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).
The husband's interest in the assets of his law practice must be classified as marital property without offsetting the value of his interest in his law firm assets at the time of the parties' marriage, because the assets that existed at the time of the marriage no longer existed, and the assets now in existence were acquired during the parties' marriage.
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TEXAS: In re Marriage of Wade, 923 S.W.2d 735 (Tex. Ct. App. 1996).
Termination benefits that the husband would receive following termination of his contract with State Farm were community property and should be valued as of the date of the divorce, taking into account the husband's years of employment as an agent prior to the marriage.
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TEXAS: Rafferty v. Finstad, 903 S.W.2d 374 (Tex. Ct. App. 1995).
The characterization and the value of property are not ultimate issues and therefore need not be set out in findings of fact.
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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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VERMONT: Cabot v. Cabot, ___ Vt. ___, 697 A.2d 644 (1997).
It was proper for the trial court to consider the potential tax consequences of a sale of the husband's investments, where the parties had borrowed against the investments and a downturn in the market could force the husband to sell them to repay the debt.
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VERMONT: Mills v. Mills, ___ Vt. ___, 702 A.2d 79 (1997).
Where the wife worked on a contract basis for other attorneys, her future work as a lawyer had no value subject to equitable distribution.
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VIRGINIA: Dietz v. Dietz, ___ Va. App. ___, 436 S.E.2d 463 (1993).
Property acquired by one spouse after the parties' last separation with wages earned after the last separation is separate property; the marriage is deemed to have ended, for purposes of classifying property, on the date of the last separation, in the absence of proof to the contrary.
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VIRGINIA: Stumbo v. Stumbo, 20 Va. App. 685, 460 S.E.2d 591 (1995).
The equitable distribution decree had to be reversed where the trial court had not made necessary findings to determine which assets and debts were marital and which were separate, the values thereof, and the rights and equities of the parties in the properties and debts.
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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: Hayes v. Hayes, 21 Va. App. 515, 465 S.E.2d 590 (1996).
Trial courts have authority under the equitable distribution statute to require payment of a nonmarital debt owed by one spouse to the other.
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VIRGINIA: Luczkovich v. Luczkovich, 26 Va. App. 702, 496 S.E.2d 157 (1998).
The husband's severance pay was his separate property, where he negotiated and received the severance package two years after the parties' separation, and where the package was not compensation for services rendered during the marriage.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Zahm, ___ Wash. 2d ___, 978 P.2d 498 (1999).
The parties' marital home was community property, where the husband and wife split the down payment equally and both signed a promissory note for a loan to pay the purchase price.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Pearson-Maines, ___ Wash. App. ___, 855 P.2d 1210 (1992).
Wife sufficiently traced the use of her separate funds in parties' joint bank account to improve real property she acquired before marriage; community interest in that real property attributable to husband's labor was properly measured by resulting increase in value of property and not by the value of his labor.
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WASHINGTON: Pletz v. Pletz, ___ Wash. App. 2d ___, 861 P.2d 1081 (1993).
Postseparation lottery winnings were the wife's separate property because the couple's marriage had become "defunct."
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WASHINGTON: Dugan-Gaunt v. Gaunt, ___ Wash. App. ___, 915 P.2d 541 (1996).
A state statute prohibiting the transfer of workers' compensation benefits precludes a court from ordering a spouse to pay over workers' compensation benefits pursuant to a property distribution agreement.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Harrington, ___ Wash. App. ___, 929 P.2d 1159 (1997).
The parties' right to acquire stock in a car dealership at a discount was a community asset.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Gillespie, ___ Wash. App. ___, 948 P.2d 1338 (1997).
Payments to the husband pursuant to a noncompetition agreement were his separate property because they represented payment for his premarital property.
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WASHINGTON: Brewer v. Brewer, 137 Wash. 2d 756, 976 P.2d 102 (1999).
Monthly payments to a permanently disabled spouse under a private disability insurance policy after the dissolution of the marriage constitute separate property, even though the policy was acquired during the marriage and the premiums were paid from community funds.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Sharon B.W. v. George B.W., ___ W. Va. ___, 519 S.E.2d 877 (1999).
Stock acquired by the husband after the couple had separated was to be considered his separate property rather than marital property subject to equitable distribution.
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WISCONSIN: Sharon v. Sharon, 178 Wis. 2d 481, 504 N.W.2d 415 (Ct. App. 1993).
Husband's accounts receivable from medical practice were properly classified as assets subject to property division.
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WISCONSIN: Preuss v. Preuss, ___ Wis. 2d ___ , 536 N.W.2d 101 (Ct. App. 1995).
The offspring of a dairy herd which the wife received as a gift before the marriage were not themselves "gifts" which should have been treated as the wife's separate property.
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WISCONSIN: Metz v. Keener, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 573 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1997).
The retained earnings fund of the wife's inherited corporation was properly included in the marital estate.
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WYOMING: Bricker v. Bricker, 877 P.2d 747 (Wyo. 1994).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion by awarding the wife a portion of the profits realized from the sale of assets during the marriage, despite the husband's claim that the property no longer existed.
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