DeShaw and Nahar-DeShaw

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 03-09-2016
  • Case #: A153633
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, C.J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In a child support modification proceeding, an accountant's testimony that tax returns may be credible and reliable evidence of income that can meet the "any evidence" standard needed to support a trial court finding.

Wife appealed supplemental judgments modifying child support, parenting time, and custody provisions of a marriage dissolution agreement. The trial court found that Husband’s income had dropped from $10,000 per month to $5,833 per month. On appeal, Wife argued that Husband’s income was erroneously calculated by the trial court. Wife did not preserve for review her argument that the court erroneously allowed Husband to deduct accelerated depreciation. The Court found that while Wife erroneously argued at trial court that depreciation was not a proper expense to deduct from Husband’s income, she never argued that accelerated depreciation was improper, and Wife therefore did not preserve the error. Wife also failed to preserve the assignment of error that the trial court should have made independent calculations of Husband’s income rather than relying on tax returns, as she did not raise that argument at trial. Reviewing for legal error, the Court rejected Wife’s contention that the trial court improperly considered Husband’s tax return because he filed it on time, which was not his usual practice and it therefore could not reflect his actual income. The standard is “any evidence” sufficient to support the trial court’s finding, and here the accountant’s testimony that the tax returns were credible and reliable evidence of income met that standard. The Court also rejected Wife’s contention that the trial court should have taken an average of Husband’s past three years of earnings rather than use his expected earnings for the coming year. Affirmed.

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