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Cases of Interest: Postdecree Proceedings
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

ALASKA: Horchover v. Field, 964 P.2d 1278 (Alaska 1998).
Trial court's order that the husband provide an accounting of his pension plan to the wife was not an abuse of discretion considering the husband's history of refusing to comply with obligations contained in the agreement and divorce decree.
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CALIFORNIA: Dale v. Dale, ___ Cal. App. 4th ___, 78 Cal. Rptr. 2d 513 (1998).
Absent a pending dissolution proceeding in which the parties' property and support rights have yet to be finally determined, a plaintiff who contends she suffered injury because her former spouse tortiously concealed community assets from her, thereby preventing her from fully presenting her case in a dissolution proceeding, is entitled to bring a subsequent tort action based on the alleged concealment.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Plesich, 881 P.2d 379 (Colo. Ct. App. 1994).
"Hold harmless" provision in the dissolution judgment was intended to require that the husband compensate the wife for the fair market value of the property apportioned to her in the property division.
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CONNECTICUT: Passamano v. Passamano, 228 Conn. 85, 634 A.2d 891 (1993).
A judgment requiring the husband to pay the mortgage and real estate taxes on the marital home until his youngest child reaches majority, at which point the home would be sold, constitutes a fixed division of property - not a modifiable order of alimony.
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CONNECTICUT: Jenks v. Jenks, 34 Conn. App. 462, 642 A.2d 31 (1994).
Wife's assertion that she suffered from battered spouse syndrome did not constitute duress or undue influence so as to justify reopening dissolution judgment based on parties' written stipulation, where husband's alleged acts were not contemporaneous with the execution of the agreement and wife was represented by counsel during the negotiations. The court in this case rejected the notion that a wife can raise a claim of duress to attack a contractually based divorce judgment on the ground of "battered spouse syndrome," if the wife was represented by counsel and no contact took place between the parties during the settlement negotiations. The policy of encouraging private settlement of litigants' financial affairs weighs against allowing such a postjudgment attack, the court said.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Cox v. Cox, 707 A.2d 1297 (D.C. 1998).
The wife's ignorance of how to secure her share of the husband's military pension benefits did not warrant modification of the parties' divorce decree more than one year after it was entered.
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INDIANA: Cowart v. White, 711 N.E.2d 523 (Ind. 1999).
When a spouse obtains a bankruptcy discharge after dissolution, the trial court may enforce the duties to sell and to divide the property imposed by the dissolution decree through contempt without violating the bankruptcy injunction.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Trickey, 589 N.W.2d 753 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998).
Modification of alimony following a bankruptcy discharge of property settlement obligations does not violate federal law if the modification merely takes into account the fact that one spouse will no longer receive the property settlement payments upon which the original support award was premised and the discharge results in changed financial circumstances.
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KANSAS: In re Marriage of Pierce, ___ Kan. App. 2d ___, 982 P.2d 995 (1999).
After the divorce decree was entered, the husband converted his retirement pay to veteran's disability benefits that are not divisible as marital property under state law. The court of appeals held that the trial court could not order the husband to convert the disability benefits back to retirement pay.
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MICHIGAN: Hagen v. Hagen, 202 Mich. App. 254, 508 N.W.2d 196 (1993).
Trial court could impress lien on husband's workers' compensation payments to enforce order awarding wife one-half of those payments.
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MICHIGAN: Massachusetts Indemnity & Life Insurance Co. v. Thomas, ___ Mich. App. ___, 520 N.W.2d 708 (1994).
Waiver provision in the parties' property settlement agreement meant that the former wife was not entitled to proceeds of a policy insuring the former husband's life, even though she herself had purchased the policy and paid the premiums.
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MICHIGAN: Gramer v. Gramer, ___ Mich. App. ___, 523 N.W.2d 861 (1994).
The husband's tort claims against the wife were barred by the release provision of the parties' property settlement agreement.
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MISSOURI: Burris v. Burris, 904 S.W.2d 564 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995).
The wife's award of actual and punitive damages in a tort action against the husband for fraudulently concealing assets was proper - even though she may have been aware that some of the marital assets did not appear in the appraisal - where the husband did not reveal all the marital assets during interrogatories, failed to inform the wife's appraiser of the existence of such assets, and intentionally hid money in bank accounts under another person's name.
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MISSOURI: Besand v. Gibbar, 982 S.W.2d 808 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
The husband was not collaterally estopped after the parties' dissolution proceedings from bringing an action against a business entity in which the former wife had been awarded an interest.
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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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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Miller, ___ Mont. ___, 902 P.2d 1019 (1995).
A dissolution decree may not be set aside based on a motion claiming intrinsic fraud filed more than 60 days after entry of the decree.
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NEBRASKA: Welch v. Welch, 246 Neb. 435, 519 N.W.2d 262 (1994).
The husband's motion to vacate for fraud was properly denied because the alleged fraud was committed by his own attorney.
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NEBRASKA: Novak v. Novak, 245 Neb. 366, 513 N.W.2d 303 (1994).
The trial court should have held the husband in contempt for failing to satisfy the cash property settlement because he could have made the payments by cashing in his IRA.
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NEW MEXICO: Barnes v. Shoemaker, ___ N.M. ___, 868 P.2d 1284 (Ct. App. 1994).
Modification of an order distributing retirement benefits is improper, even though the original order was based on erroneous projections, since there was no evidence that the error was the result of a postdecree event or otherwise could not have been anticipated.
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NEW YORK: Brody v. Brody, ___ A.D.2d ___, 609 N.Y.S.2d 191 (1994).
The bankruptcy court's characterization of the husband's debt to wife as a marital obligation of support was limited to the bankruptcy proceeding and was not binding in divorce court.
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NEW YORK: Viviano v. Allard, ___ A.D.2d ___, 611 N.Y.S.2d 666 (1994).
The wife was entitled to a postjudgment hearing to determine what portion of the money received by the husband in a class action suit for improper termination was marital property earned during the marriage.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Clooten v. Clooten, 520 N.W.2d 843 (N.D. 1994).
The husband's motion to vacate for fraud was properly denied because he failed to show that he had a special relationship of trust with the wife's attorney which was breached, or that the wife breached a "fiduciary relationship" by overreaching in the settlement agreement.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Kostelecky v. Kostelecky, 537 N.W.2d 551 (N.D. 1995).
Because the parties' divorce decree did not specify how required distributions were to be structured or who would be liable for the resulting taxes, the decree was ambiguous and clarification was appropriate.
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OHIO: Hartzell v. Hartzell, 90 Ohio App. 3d 385, 629 N.E.2d 491 (1993).
Workers' compensation benefits that compensate for loss of earnings during the marriage and for expenses paid from marital assets constitute marital property.
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TEXAS: Schlueter v. Schlueter, 975 S.W.2d 584 (Tex. 1998).
No independent tort cause of action exists between spouses for fraud on the community because a wronged spouse has an adequate remedy for fraud through the division of community property.
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UTAH: Wiles v. Wiles, 871 P.2d 1026 (Utah Ct. App. 1994).
The trial court's property distribution, which awarded the home to the wife and the lien to the husband for his share of the home's value, superseded the wife's ability to enforce her homestead exemption against the husband's interest in the property.
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VIRGINIA: Toomey v. Toomey, ___ Va. App. ___, 454 S.E.2d 735 (1995).
Ex parte divorce decree did not foreclose the wife from later seeking equitable distribution of her property right in the husband's military pension.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Thompson, ___ Wash. App ___, 980 P.2d 1287 (1999).
The postdecree enforcement order regarding the distribution of property was challenged since the husband and the wife were unable to agree on how to put the distribution plan into effect. The court was required to determine whether the enforcement order "modified" the original property distribution plan or whether it "clarified" it.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Hay, ___ Wash. App. ___, 907 P.2d 334 (1995).
If tax consequences are imminent, or arise directly from the trial court's property disposition, and the amount is not speculative, such consequences are proper to consider when valuing marital assets.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Stanley v. Stanley, ___ W. Va. ___, 495 S.E.2d 273 (1997).
The parties' divorce decree should be set aside due to a mistake in valuation of the husband's pension plan.
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WYOMING: Richardson v. Richardson, 868 P.2d 259 (Wyo. 1994).
The discharge in a bankruptcy proceeding of a number of debts allocated to the husband in the divorce decree constituted a "change in circumstances" justifying modification.
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