Allen v. ScottAnnotate this Case
Appellant Laura Allen appealed a Family Court Ancillary Order determining the division of property following her divorce from Appellee Charlene Scott. Allen claimed the trial court abused its discretion in designating funds used to purchase real property in Colorado as “marital” because the parties’ Ancillary Pretrial Stipulation described the funds as “premarital.” Allen further contended the Family Court abused its discretion in dividing certain pieces of marital property in the marital estate 60/40 in Scott’s favor contending that the court’s decision was not based on a logical or orderly process and was tainted by the court’s error on the first issue. After review, the Delaware Supreme Court held: (1) because both parties stated in the Ancillary Pretrial Stipulation that the funds used to purchase the Colorado property were premarital in character, and because neither party moved to amend the stipulation to revise that characterization until after the evidentiary record had closed, there was no triable issue on that question; and (2) there was no abuse of discretion in the Family Court’s distribution of the remaining marital property. Judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for consideration of Scott’s alternative contention that the down payment for the Colorado property was a gift unto the marriage. The Family Court retains the discretion to adjust that distribution to the extent its decision on remand regarding the Colorado down payment funds affects the other 11 Del. C. 1315 factors.