Hamilton v. HamiltonAnnotate this Case
Husband and wife seek review of the ICA's judgment affirming in part and vacating in part the June 2013 Divorce Decree. The court held that the ICA erred in vacating the property division and alimony awards to require a recalculation of these awards based on a segregation of proceeds from the illegal marijuana operation; the family court erred, either by characterizing the entire $1,511,477 expended from husband’s inheritance account as Marital Partnership Property or by characterizing the $2,051,293 remaining in his inheritance account as Marital Separate Property, because the $1,511,447 expended included payment of inheritance taxes on husband’s entire inheritance, and if inheritance taxes are paid out of Marital Partnership Property, the remaining inheritance cannot be classified as Marital Separate Property; the family court erred in summarily ruling before trial that all funds expended by husband from his Marital Separate Property inheritance account constituted Category 3 Marital Partnership Property for which he was entitled to be repaid, without requiring husband to fulfill his burden of establishing that such expenditures were in the nature of a contribution to or an investment in Marital Partnership Property, and then compounded the error by failing to allow and consider evidence of donative intent; the family court erred in ordering an equal distribution of alleged partnership capital losses before deciding whether equitable considerations justified deviation from an equal; and the family court improperly applied marital partnership principles to fashion a property division award that was not just and equitable. The court found no error in the award of attorney’s fees and costs. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.