Hostetler and Hostetler

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 02-25-2015
  • Case #: A149924
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C. J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 107.105(1)(f) establishes a rebuttable presumption that spouses have contributed equally to marital property and asks the court to make just and proper property divisions in light of that presumption. ORCP 68 (C)(4)(g) states that a trial court is required to make attorney fee award findings only when a party makes a written request for them.

Husband appealed his judgment of dissolution with three assignments of error. First, husband disagreed with the trial court’s division of property because he claims he is entitled to half of the wife’s retirement accounts. Second, husband disagreed with the ruling that all marital debt should be assigned to him. Finally, husband assigned error to the trial court’s decision to refuse him attorney fees because he claims it did not explain why the denial was made. The Court found that it was irrelevant that the wife’s retirement account was awarded predominantly to wife because an unequal division of property need not necessarily be the result of a rebuttal to the presumption that marital property is the product of equal spousal contribution or that there be any particular equitable consideration. A just distribution can be made without dividing all assets exactly down the middle. The Court further ruled that, because husband had a larger income than wife and had been awarded the family home, it was just and proper that he be awarded the whole of the family debt. Lastly, the Court held that findings may be necessary where a party challenges the substance of an attorney fee award, but in this instance that was not the case; husband is not per se entitled to an explanation of the finding. Affirmed.

Advanced Search