Horton v. HortonAnnotate this Case
Desiree Horton served Andrew Horton with an Amended Complaint for Divorce in December of 2016. On June 15, 2017, in lieu of a trial, Desiree and Andrew entered into an oral stipulation on the record specifying how their community property would be divided between them. Because Desiree was employed as a teacher in Italy by the United States government and Andrew was a member of the United States military on active duty, the decree of divorce required specific language to be enforceable as to their respective retirement accounts. The magistrate court stated that, due to this specific language, it would “retain jurisdiction” with respect to the parties’ retirement accounts. A written judgment and decree of divorce was entered on February 26, 2018, and dated nunc pro tunc to June 15, 2017, the date of the parties’ oral stipulation. After later motions and hearings on behalf of both parties, an amended judgment and decree of divorce was entered on October 18, 2018. The later amended judgment and decree did not indicate it was being issued nunc pro tunc. Andrew appealed the decision to enter the amended judgment and decree of divorce to the district court. After oral argument, the district court agreed the magistrate court abused its discretion: (1) by deciding to remove the nunc pro tunc language from the initial judgment entered on February 26, 2018; (2) by requiring Andrew to obtain “Survivor Benefit Coverage” for Desiree; and (3) by excluding, over Andrew’s objection, language related to Desiree’s Federal Employee Retirement System account. The district court ordered that the amended judgment and decree of divorce entered in October 2018, be vacated and the case remanded to the magistrate court for various findings of fact and conclusions of law. Desiree appealed. The Idaho Supreme Court found only that the district court erred in concluding the magistrate court abused its discretion in deciding to reject Andrew’s requested language regarding the FERS account in the Amended Decree. The judgment was thus affirmed in part, reversed in part and the matter remanded for further proceedings.