In re Cleopatra Cameron Gift TrustAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court concluding that the validity of a trust's spendthrift provision prohibiting direct payments of Cleopatra Cameron's child support obligation to her ex-husband, Christopher Pallanck, was recognized by South Dakota law, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion.
Cleopatra was a beneficiary of a trust containing spendthrift provisions established by her father. When Christopher filed for divorce, the California family court joined the trust in the divorce action. The family court ordered direct payments from the trust to Christopher. Citing a particular feature of California trust law a California family court previously ordered direct payments of Cleopatra's child support obligation from the trust as part of the couple's divorce. After the situs of the trust was moved to South Dakota Cleopatra sought a declaration as to whether the trust was prohibited from making child support payments directly to Christopher. The circuit court concluded that the trust was prohibited from making child support payments directly to Christopher. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court was not required to submit to the California order compelling direct payments form the trust when the self-executing enforcement was prohibited by South Dakota law.