Spergl v. Spergl, No. M2018-00934-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Could 16, 2019)

or Property to Transmute, the Partner’s “Substantial Contribution” Should Relate On to the Asset in Query

The husband and spouse on this Williamson County, Tennessee, case have been married in 2004 and had no youngsters.  In September 2015, the spouse filed for divorce, arguing irreconcilable variations and inappropriate marital conduct.  After an preliminary reply, the husband admitted inappropriate conduct, and likewise filed a counterclaim alleging inappropriate marital conduct by the spouse.

In 2018, the trial was held earlier than Decide Joseph A. Woodruff.  The events stipulated to entry of divorce, and agreed to the disposition of most belongings.  Nevertheless, the court docket was referred to as upon to rule on shares of UPS inventory.  The husband had acquired the inventory from his father earlier than the wedding, and bought extra after the wedding.  The inventory had additionally appreciated in worth, and the husband had used the dividend reinvestment program to purchase extra shares from dividends.  Among the dividends have been used to pay down a line of credit score to buy actual property, purchase cars, and different household functions.  The husband additionally used a number of the line of credit score to buy medication and alcohol.

The decrease court docket discovered that the spouse had made substantial oblique contributions as a wage earner and homemaker.  Due to this fact, it discovered that a number of the inventory was marital property.  It additionally held that shares bought throughout the marriage from the dividend reinvestment program have been marital property.  Nevertheless, the court docket held that the majority of the shares have been the husband’s separate property.  The spouse then appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals.

The appeals court docket started by noting that dividends acquired have been marital property.  Accordingly, it agreed that shares bought throughout the marriage with dividends have been marital property.  Nevertheless, since a number of the dividends have been used to help the household, these shares have been to not be divided.

The court docket subsequent turned to the rise in worth.  The spouse argued that she contributed to the rise by working for a household enterprise with out wage.  However the appeals court docket cited Langschmidt v. Langschmidt, 81 S.W.3d 741 (Tenn. 2002) for the proposition that there should be some particular hyperlink between the partner’s efforts and the property in query.  Right here, the spouse’s efforts weren’t instantly related, and a lot of the appreciation was market pushed.  For these causes, the court docket held that these shares have been the husband’s separate property.

This submit is a part of a collection, Appreciation of Separate Property: The Forensic Accountant’s Full Employment Act.

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