Mitchell and Mitchell

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 06-17-2015
  • Case #: A154284
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Lower court in marriage dissolution hearing abused its discretion by not considering Husband's agreement to pay for children's college education when awarding monthly spousal maintenance, and by not providing an explanation for the chosen amount of required life insurance policy.

Husband appealed trial court's dissolution award to wife of: half of Husband's military retirement benefits, indefinite monthly spousal maintenance support, transitional support, and a $750,000 life insurance policy naming Wife as beneficiary.

Husband argued that the trial court failed to identify sufficient reason that the award of half of Husband's military retirement benefits was just and proper under the circumstances. The Court held that the lower court gave sufficient explanation and had not abused its discretion in Wife's award. Husband next argued that the lower court erred by awarding indefinite $1,000 monthly spousal maintenance support without considering Husband's agreement to pay college expenses of their children. The Court explained that spousal maintenance support awards are only reviewable if the lower court misapplied statutory and equitable considerations, one of which is the husband's financial needs and resources. The Court found that the lower court erred by failing to consider Husband's agreement to pay for children's college as part of his financial needs and resources. Husband next challenged lower court requirement to maintain a $750,000 life insurance policy with Wife as the beneficiary. The Court held that because the lower court gave no explanation for its choice of $750,000, there therefore no evidentiary basis for the decision in the record, and it must be reconsidered on remand.

The portions of the judgment relating to spousal maintenance support and life insurance were reversed and remanded for reconsideration.

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