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Oregon Court of Appeals


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Hamscam and Hamscam

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-14-2011
Case #: A142420
Haselton, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142420.pdf

Family Law: When reviewing de novo, the Court will review the trial court's decision to ensure it used the proper methodology when awarding marital property; property acquired before the marriage are not marital assets, but will be awarded as just and proper, factoring the parties' intent to keep it separate or turn it into join property of the marriage.

Wife appealed from a general judgment dissolving the parties' marriage. She challenged the division of the parties' property, arguing that the trial court erred in awarding the husband his pre-marital interest in a rental property, his CPA practice, a family-owned partnership, and a 1972 Porsche. The Court exercised its discretion to review the case de novo, and evaluated the judgment of the trial court to see if they were just and proper in all the circumstances. The Court held that the trial court failed to consider the proper methodology for determining how to divide pre-marital interests in property, and awarded part of the pre-marital interest from the rental property and the CPA practice to wife. It also left undisturbed the valuation of the CPA practice, and concluded that the family-owned partnership was not part of the commingled family assets, and thus solely the property of the husband. Judgment modified to award wife an equalizing judgment of $541,906, otherwise affirmed.