Bar Journal - Summer 2004
Division of the Pre-Marital Trust or Inheritance
By: Attorneys Charles G. Douglas & Carolyn S. Garvey
An outstanding yet difficult issue to be confronted under New Hampshire divorce law is how to apportion a multi-million dollar inheritance, trust or business that pre-exists a long-term marriage. While everything must be "considered" for division in a long-term marriage under RSA 458:16-a, there is also clear statutory recognition that in dividing property, significant pre-marital assets may be a factor in an unequal division.1 But should the split be 80/20, 70/30 or 50/50 in such circumstances?
I. NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW
In fashioning property settlements in divorce, states are divided into three main categories: "community property" states,2 "marital property" States3 and "all-property states."4 New Hampshire is an "all-property" state that gives the court the authority to divide all property of the parties (however or whenever acquired) in an equitable manner. A court is required to view the parties’ property as a whole and then make an equitable distribution.5 Whether property is individually or jointly owned, it is still considered a marital asset.6
In 1992 the legislature enacted RSA 458:16-a, which creates a rebuttable presumption that an equal division of the marital estate is equitable. The statute recognizes that an equal division is not always appropriate or equitable and enumerates 15 factors for a court to consider in determining the issue. These considerations include, among others: the value of any property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage; the value of any property acquired by gift or devise; any significant disparity between the parties’ contributions to the marriage; the actions of either party during the marriage which contributed to the growth in value of property owned by either or both; the fault of either party, if that fault caused the breakdown of the marriage, and caused substantial mental pain and suffering; and any other factors that the court deems relevant.7 Traditionally the factors enumerated in RSA 458:16-a were the same factors relied upon by New Hampshire courts to justify unequal property allocations before the enactment of the statute in 1992. It remains well-settled law that courts in New Hampshire have broad discretion in dividing marital property.8 Courts are not required to divide properly equally, but rather estates must be apportioned according to the equities of the circumstances.9 Furthermore, if the court determines that an equal division of property is inappropriate, the court may find that equitable distribution of a marital asset means awarding the asset, in whole, to one party with or without an offsetting credit.10
New Hampshire cases decided under RSA 458:16-a (and before its enactment), are replete with unequal awards of marital property, based upon factors enumerated in the statute and upon considerations which are not specifically mentioned, but fall under the heading, "any other factor that the court deems relevant."11 For instance, in Grandmaison v. Grandmaison,12 the husband was awarded approximately 75% of marital property, including his share in a hotel business acquired prior to the marriage when the wife did not contribute either assets or substantial labor to its development. In Henderson v. Henderson,13 the wife received approximately 88% of marital property because the property had been purchased from her mother at a price far below market value. Hodgins v. Hodgins14 held that exclusive premarital possession of an asset by one party that continues after marriage, the recent acquisition of an asset by one party through a family relationship, the assurance of each party’s future security, and the fault of either party may result in an unequal property settlement.
Likewise, in McAlpin v. McAlpin,15 all proceeds from the sale of a jointly-owned summer camp went to the wife, who had paid the majority of the purchase price with her family inheritance. But a joint stock account was awarded to the husband where it contained funds "largely attributable to gifts from his family."16 And in Jones v. Jones,17 the wife received a greater portion of the parties’ real estate holdings, including the marital home and two mobile homes, considering that one of the mobile homes and the land upon which both were situated had been owned by the wife prior to the marriage.
Finally, only pension benefits attributable to employment during the marriage are subject to distribution, but those accruing prior to the marriage are not.18 In sum, New Hampshire recognizes that certain assets acquired prior to a marriage, while considered part of the marital estate, are not equally divisible at divorce. In a short-term marriage, the assumption is that the parties will be put back in the same position they were in prior to the marriage. However, in looking at a long-term marriage examples of how other states handle substantial premarital assets may be instructive for New Hampshire.
II. OTHER "ALL-PROPERTY" STATES HAVE AWARDED A BUSINESS OR PROPERTY OWNED PRIOR TO THE MARRIAGE, OR RECEIVED THROUGH GIFT OR INHERITANCE, EXCLUSIVELY TO ONE PARTY.
Other "all-property" states have had more opportunities than our state to interpret their statutes in cases where one party received substantial property through inheritance or gifts, or brought substantial assets, such as a business, into the marriage. While these states include "all property" of the parties in the marital estate and require an equitable distribution of assets, they acknowledge circumstances where an unequal distribution of property is equitable and just. Some "all-property" states begin with the presumption that all property owned by either party, including inherited or gifted property, is marital property and then outline factors that can rebut the presumption.19 Other "all-property" states begin with the premise that inherited or gifted property, or property acquired prior to the marriage is not included in the marital estate unless it would be inequitable not to do so.20
A. Seven other states, like New Hampshire, begin with the presumption that all property is marital property and list circumstances that justify an unequal property division
In Massachusetts, a court may assign to either the husband or the wife all or any part of the estate of the other. In fixing the nature and value of the property to be assigned, the court may consider, among other things, the contribution of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.21 In making an equitable distribution of marital property, the courts consider that "the parties’ respective contributions to the marital partnership remain the touchstone of an equitable division of the marital estate."22 "Property division… is based on the joint contribution of the spouses to the marital enterprise." 23
The Supreme Judicial Court, in Williams v. Massa,24 reasoned that a property settlement awarding a husband 75% of the marital assets was equitable because: (1) a large portion of the inherited and gifted assets predated the marriage; (2) the husband managed those assets and made all investment decisions; and (3) the income from the trust assets was spent by the family and used to calculate support. The court further stated that since there were other joint assets, there are no circumstances that would mandate an assignment to the wife of the husband’s separate property.
Similarly, in Ross v. Ross,25 the court awarded 66% of the marital property to the husband. This was a long-term marriage in which the husband brought all assets into marriage, valued at time of divorce at over ten million dollars ($10,000,000.00). The court included all of the property brought into the marriage in the marital estate and then made an unequal distribution after considering all the statutory factors in Mass. Gen. Law Ann. 208 § 34, including the contribution of each party in the acquisition, and preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.26
In Connecticut, a court may assign to either party all or any part of the estate of the other. In dividing the marital property, a court shall consider, among other things, the contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates.27 There is no presumption in Connecticut that marital property should be divided equally prior to applying the statutory criteria.28
In Bonelli v. Bonelli,29 the trial court order was upheld where the wife received a property award of one hundred twenty seven thousand two hundred forty three dollars ($127,243) and the husband received one million four hundred sixty thousand dollars ($1,460,000). The parties were married for seventeen years and had no children. The husband had received approximately one million six hundred ninety thousand dollars ($1,690,000) from his parents and the Bonellis’ yearly income was generated from those assets. The wife was a homemaker for the duration of the marriage and the husband managed the real property he inherited. Even though most of the real property was held jointly, the court found that the husband inherited it, or purchased it with inherited funds, and all of that property was returned to him in the property award.
Other Connecticut cases follow the same premise that, in circumstances where a spouse has not contributed in any way to the preservation, accumulation or appreciation in value of property owned by the other spouse prior to a marriage, they should not share in the property at the time of divorce. For instance, in the Levy 30 case, a husband was awarded his business that had increased in value from one million dollars ($1,000,000) to nine million dollars ($9,000,000) over the course of the marriage. His wife had not made any significant contribution to the business during the parties’ six-year marriage. Similarly, in the Ashton31 case, the husband was awarded approximately 90% of marital assets. Ashton involved a thirteen-year marriage and the husband owned the bulk of the marital property prior to the marriage. The court stated that the husband had acquired the property prior to the marriage and the wife made no contribution to its acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value.
In Vermont, all property owned by either or both of the parties, regardless of how or when acquired, is subject to the jurisdiction of the court. In making an equitable distribution of marital property, the court may consider twelve factors including: through whom property was acquired, the fault of either party, and whether the non-titled party contributed to the appreciation or maintenance of the property.32
The Supreme Court of Vermont, in Daitchman v. Daitchman,33 awarded the wife the entirety of one million dollars ($1,000,000) in stock inherited from her father and equally divided the remaining marital assets between the parties. The court awarded the stock to the wife, reasoning that she was "the party through whom the property was acquired". The divorce was based upon the husband’s adultery and, as an employee of the family business, he had already been compensated for his managerial expertise which contributed to the stock’s increase in value.34
A court in Indiana shall divide the property of the parties, whenever acquired, in a just and equitable manner.35 While there is a presumption of equal distribution,36 the presumption may be rebutted by showing: (1) the contribution of each spouse in the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing; (2) the extent to which the property was acquired by each spouse before the marriage through inheritance or gift; (3) the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of disposition, including the desirability of awarding the family home to the spouse having custody of the children, if any; (4) the conduct of the parties during the marriage as related to the disposition or dissipation of property; and (5) the earnings or earning ability of the parties.37
Using the above guidelines in fashioning a property settlement, the Court of Appeals of Indiana, in Newby v. Newby,38 after a twenty-year marriage, ordered an unequal property distribution granting the husband approximately 90% of the marital assets. The court reached its conclusion, after considering all of the factors listed in Ind. Code Ann. § 31-15-7-5. The court explained that the property brought into the marriage by the husband created marital property through appreciation, and that 92% of the property brought into the marriage was acquired by the husband prior to the marriage. Although the wife was "at a severe disadvantage as to her economic circumstances at the time of the dissolution," the disparity existed at the outset of the marriage.39 It was further found that the wife concealed and misused marital property during the marriage, and that both parties were determined to be disabled at the time of dissolution.
In Wyoming, the court shall divide the property of the parties as appears just and equitable, taking into consideration the respective merits of the parties’ positions, the condition in which they will be left by the divorce, through whom was the property acquired, and the burdens imposed upon the property for the benefit of either party and the children.40
In France v. France,41 the Supreme Court of Wyoming upheld an award to a wife of approximately 94% of the marital assets. The origin of the assets were traced back to gifts or inheritance from her family, and she received them in their entirety. The award included stock in a closely held company originally gifted and devised to the wife, of which she then gave 45% to her husband for tax purposes. His portion of the stock was then reallocated back to the wife in the property division. Of import to the court was the fact that the parties "made absolutely no contribution, by way of capital or effort, to the appreciation of the property."42 The court divided the remaining property accrued during the marriage equally between the parties, noting that a just and equitable division is as likely as not to be unequal.43
6. South Dakota
In South Dakota, the courts shall have regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties in making a division of property, and may make an equitable division of the property belonging to either or both.44 Whether inherited or gifted property is to be divided as part of the marital estate is within the trial court’s discretion.45 Where a spouse has little involvement in the inherited property of the other spouse and has done nothing to contribute to the accumulation of the property, it is within the court’s discretion to exclude its value from the marital estate.46
In a divorce decree in Oregon, the court will make orders for the division of real or personal property of either husband or wife or both, as may be just and proper. There is a rebuttable presumption that both parties have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage.47 The presumption may be overcome by showing the other spouse did not economically, directly or indirectly, contribute to the appreciation in the value of the asset. In the case of Massee v. Massee,48 the husband demonstrated that the extensive property he owned had always been in his name alone, that all the business accounts were kept separate from the one joint account and that he made all of the decisions concerning the business. The two-year marriage basically meant that the parties could be put back where they were financially when they married. The court concluded that the wife’s contributions of labor were "too brief" and too sporadic to have had any significant effect on any appreciation that may have occurred.
B. The following states exclude gifts, inheritances, and property acquired prior to the marriage from the marital estate unless it would result in an inequitable distribution.
Courts in Alaska divide the property acquired during the marriage in a just manner, however, the court may invade the property of either spouse acquired before the marriage or inherited or gifted property to one party during the marriage, when the balancing of equities requires it, based upon nine factors including the time and manner of acquisition of the property.49 In Alaska the trial court must follow a three-step process in equitably dividing marital property: (1) the court determines what property is available for distribution; (2) the court values the property; and (3) the court equitably divides the property. Only after the court finds that an equitable division is not possible using the marital property alone, will the courts then invade the separate property of a party to balance the inequity.50 Invasion of premarital property is authorized to balance the equities between the parties or when the parties treated the property as joint holdings and each took "an active management interest in the ongoing maintenance, management, and control of [the] assets."51
"There is a strong presumption that inherited property is separate property not to be included in the disposition of property during a divorce."52 Inherited and other separate property may also be included in the marital estate when that is the intent of the owner and his or her conduct shows that intent.53 Some of the factors that can lead to separate property being transformed into marital property are: (1) the use of the property as the parties’ personal residence; (2) the ongoing maintenance and managing of the property by both parties; (3) placing the title of the property in joint ownership; or (4) using the credit of the non-titled owner to improve the property.54
Other factors to be considered in deciding whether separate property should be invaded are "the age of the parties, their earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, their station in life, the circumstances and necessities of each, their health, their financial condition, the manner of acquisition of the property, its value at the time of acquisition and at the time of the property division, and any other facts bearing on whether the equities dictate that the other spouse is entitled to share in that property."55
Hawaiian courts divide and distribute the property of the parties, whether community, joint or separate property.56 The Hawaii courts use a partnership model for division of property in divorces. Under this model, the court divides the marital property into five categories: (1) the net market value of all property separately owned by one spouse on the date of marriage; (2) the increase in net market value of category one property; (3) the net market value of all property separately acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage; (4) the increase in value of all category three property; and (5) the difference between the net market values of all property owned by one or both of the parties at the final date of trial, less the total market value of categories one, two, three and four. The court then awards category one and three property to the contributing spouse and divides the category two, four and five property equally to each spouse. But the court can deviate from this division, if the circumstances of the parties warrant it. 57
In Iowa, courts divide all property equitably between the parties. Property inherited by a spouse, and gifts received prior to or during the course of the marriage, are separate property not subject to a property division, except upon a finding that refusal to divide the property is inequitable to the other party or to the children of the marriage.58 Factors to consider in determining whether inherited property is subject to division (notwithstanding the preference not to divide it) include: length of the marriage; contributions by the other party toward the property’s care; the preservation or improvement; and the impact of property division on the parties’ standard of living.
Thus, in the case of In re Marriage of Geil,59 the husband was awarded a one-half interest in the wife’s inherited farm because he devoted substantial time and effort to the production and maintenance of the farm and was responsible for debt related to it. In the case of In re Marriage of Alexander,60 stock received by the husband from his father was a gift and, therefore, not subject to property division.
Montana courts equitably apportion between the parties the property and assets belonging to either or both. However, in dividing property acquired prior to marriage, Montana courts consider the extent to which the other party may have made contributions that helped maintain the property or otherwise made nonmonetary contributions as a homemaker.61
In Harper v. Harper,62 the Supreme Court of Montana awarded stock gifted to a husband by his parents entirely to the husband, where the wife did not contribute in any way to the increase in value of the stock nor make any non-monetary contributions to the marriage that facilitated the maintenance of the corporate stock. Similarly, in the case In re Marriage of Walls,63 the husband was awarded the whole of the oil and gas interests that he brought into the marriage, despite the wife’s contributions to the marriage as a homemaker, since her contributions did not facilitate maintenance of the oil and gas interests. Despite the statutory language about homemaker services, the Montana Supreme Court concluded the wife could not share because she had not done anything to increase the value of the oil and gas leases.
Likewise, the Supreme Court of Montana has said that "the homemaking efforts must substantially aid in the accumulation and/or maintenance of the marital estate."64 In the case of In re Marriage of Smith,65 the Smiths were married for eight years. Prior to the marriage, the wife became beneficiary of two trusts established by her family. The husband was never a beneficiary, never contributed any money to the trust, nor was any marital money contributed to the trust. The court concluded that the husband "had failed to demonstrate that his actions in any way maintained or increased the value of the corpus of the trusts."66
Upon divorce in Michigan, a court may make orders "restoring to either party the whole, or such parts as it shall deem just and reasonable of the real and personal estate that shall have come to either party by reason of the marriage, or for awarding to either party the value thereof, to be paid by either party in money."67 In attempting to reach a fair and equitable property division, courts are to consider circumstances including: (1) the duration of the marriage; (2) contribution of the parties to the joint estate or sources of property; (3) age; (4) health; (5) station in life; (6) necessities and circumstances; and (7) earning ability.68
The Michigan Court of Appeals’ ruling in the case of Lee v. Lee69 is similar to those cases discussed above. Finding error in the lower court’s inclusion of plaintiff’s inheritance into the marital estate, the Lee court held, "Plaintiff’s inheritance was [her] separate property and should have been distributed as part of the marital estate only if the remaining property was insufficient for the suitable support and maintenance of the defendant or if the defendant had contributed to its acquisition, improvement, or accumulation."70
New Hampshire, like some of the other "all-property" states, includes all property in the marital estate in the first instance. Then, at the court’s discretion, the separate property in question may be awarded solely to one spouse. Several of the 15 factors listed for consideration may result in an equitable, yet unequal, property division under RSA 458:16-a (II).
For instance, section 16-a(II)(f) directs a court to consider the actions of either party which contributed to the growth in value of property owned by either or both parties. Section 16-a(II)(g) draws the court’s attention to any significant disparity between the parties in relation to contributions to the marriage, including the care and education of the children and the care of the home.
Another consideration is found in section 16-a(II)(m), which concerns the value of any property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage. Finally, RSA 458:16-a(II)(n) allows the court to consider and base its determination on any other factor that the court deems relevant.
In New Hampshire courts may make an unequal property distribution after determining that one of the 15 factors enumerated in RSA 458:16-a (II) is predominant. However, some of the other all-property states (e.g., Vermont and Indiana) require the courts to weigh all of the factors delineated in their respective statutes before making an unequal distribution of marital property. In each of the "all property" states, however, when property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage as a gift from a family member or a pre-existing trust or business is kept separate and apart from other marital assets, and where the other spouse contributes nothing to the maintenance or growth of the asset, (and other marital property exists to ensure an equitable division of property), the property should be returned to the spouse who brought it to the marriage.
This is true whether the property would initially be considered separate property and drawn in to the listing of marital assets to avoid injustice or considered marital property and drawn out to avoid injustice. Because New Hampshire is not a community property state, nothing in New Hampshire law dictates a 50-50 split of all marital assets. "Equitable" does not always mean "equal."
- See, e.g., RSA 458:16-a (II)(f)(g) and (l).
- Community property States characterize gifted or inherited assets as "separate" as opposed to "community" property. See, e.g., Cal. Const. art. 1 § 21 (1983); Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 5.001 (West 1998).
- These States usually separate inherited or gifted assets from the marital estate by statutory definition, See, e.g., Del. Code Ann. tit. 13 § 1513(b)(1) (Michie 1999); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 61.075(5)(b)(2) (West 1997); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19 § 722-A (West 1981 & Supp. 1996); N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 236(B)(1)(d)(1) (McKinney 1999); R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-5-16.1 (1996).
- There are fourteen other States that potentially include "all" property of the parties, whenever or however acquired, as marital property. They are: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
- Weeks v. Weeks, 124 N.H. 252, 255, 469 A.2d 1313, 1316 (1983).
- Id.; Grandmaison v. Grandmaison, 119 N.H. 268, 271, 401 A.2d 1057, 1059 (1979).
- RSA 458:16-a (II)(f)(g)(l)(m)(n)(o).
- Magrauth v. Magrauth, 136 N.H. 757, 622 A.2d 837 (1993); (Jones v. Jones, 146 N.H. 199 (2001).
- Bursey v. Bursey, 145 N.H. 283, 761 A.2d 491 (2000); Fabich v. Fabich, 144 N.H. 577, 744 A.2d 615 (1999).
- Holliday v. Holliday, 139 N.H. 213, 651 A.2d 12 (1994).
- RSA 458:16-a(II)(o).
- Grandmaison v. Grandmaison, 119 N.H. 268, 271, 401 A.2d 1057, 1059 (1979).
- Henderson v. Henderson, 121 N.H. 807, 810, 435 A.2d 133, 135 (1981).
- Hodgins v. Hodgins, 126 N.H. 711, 714, 497 A.2d 1187, 1189 (1985).
- McAlpin v. McAlpin, 129 N.H. 737, 532 A.2d 1377 (1987).
- Id. and see Flaherty v. Flaherty, 138 N.H. 337 (1994) (dividing a post marital trust created by husband’s parents).
- Jones v. Jones, 146 N.H. 199 (2001).
- Hodgins v. Hodgins, 126 N.H. at 716.
- New Hampshire is one of these types of "all-property" States along with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Indiana, South Dakota and Wyoming.
- Alaska, Iowa, Michigan, Montana and Hawaii are States in this category.
- Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 208 § 34 (West 1990).
- Moriatry v. Stone, 41 Mass. App. Ct. 151, 154, 668 N.E.2d 1338 (1996).
- Id. at 154, quoting Inker, Alimony And Assignment of Property: The New Statutory Scheme in Massachusetts, 10 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1, 11(1975).
- Williams v. Massa, 431 Mass. 619, 728 N.E.2d 932 (2000).
- Ross v. Ross, 50 Mass. App. Ct. 77, 734 N.E.2d 1192 (2000).
- Id. at 1195.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-81 (West 1975).
- Wendt v. Wendt, 59 Conn. App. 656, 673, 757 A.2d 1225, 1242 (2000).
- Bonelli v. Bonelli, 22 Conn. App. 241, 576 A.2d 587 (1990).
- Levy v. Levy, 5 Conn. App. 185, 497 A.2d 430 (1985)
- Ashton v. Ashton, 31 Conn. App. 736, 627 A.2d 943 (1993).
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, §751 (a)(b).
- Daitchman v. Daitchman, 483 A.2d 270 (Vt. 1984).
- Id. at 273.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 31-15-7-4.
- Fiste v. Fiste, 627 N.E.2d 1368, 1372 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994).
- Ind. Code Ann. 31-15-7-5.
- Newby v. Newby, 734 N.E.2d 663 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000).
- Id. at 669-670.
- Wyo Stat. Ann. ? 20-2-114 (Michie 1997).
- France v. France, 902 P.2d 701 (Wyo. 1995).
- Id. (quoting Bricker v. Bricker, 877 P.2d 747, 751 (Wyo. 1994)).
- Id. at 704.
- S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 25-4-44 (1988).
- Kanta v. Kanta, 479 N.W.2d 505 (S.D. 1991).
- Bennett v. Bennett, 516 N.W.2d 672, 677 (S.D. 1994).
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.105(1)(f)(1999).
- Massee and Massee, 911 P.2d 320 (Or. App. 1996).
- Alaska Stat. § 25.24.160(4) (1990).
- Murray v. Murray, 856 P.2d 463, 466 (Alaska 1993).
- Moffitt v. Moffitt, 749 P.2d 343 (Alaska 1988) quoting Wanberg v. Wanberg, 664 P.2d 568, 571 (Alaska 1983).
- Sampson v. Sampson, No. S-9088, Opinion No. 5345 (Alaska Dec. 15, 2000) citing Julsen v. Julsen, 741 P.2d 642, 646 (Alaska 1987).
- Chotiner v. Chotiner, 829 P.2d 829, 831 (Alaska 1992).
- Cox v. Cox, 882 P.2d 909, 916 (Alaska 1994).
- Vanover v. Vanover, 496 P.2d 644, 647-46 (Alaska 1972).
- Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 580-47 (1993).
- Jackson v. Jackson, 933 P.2d 1353 (Hawaii App. 1997).
- Iowa Code Ann § 598.21(2).
- In re Marriage of Geil, 509 N.W.2d 738 (Iowa 1993).
- In re Marriage of Alexander, 478 N.W.2d 420 (Iowa 1991).
- Mont Code Ann. § 40-4-202 (1975).
- Harper v. Harper, 994 P.2d 1, 5 (Mont. 1999).
- In re Marriage of Walls, 925 P.2d 483, 486 (Mont. 1996).
- In re Marriage of Smith, 891 P.2d 522, 525 (Mont. 1995).
- Mich. Stat. Ann. § 25.99 (Callaghan 1979).
- Lee v. Lee, 447 N.W.2d 429, 432 (Mich. App. 1991), citing Charlton v. Charlton, 397 Mich. 84, 95, 243 N.W.2d 261 (1976).
- Lee, 47 N.W.2d 432-433 (Mich. App. 1991).
Charles G. Douglas, III is the author of N.H. Practice - Family Law, and is a director of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., Concord.
Carolyn S. Garvey is a director of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., Concord.