Monday, November 25, 2013

In re Marriage of King case brief

In re Marriage of King case brief summary
700 P.2d 591 (Mont. 1985)

Appellant ex-husband sought review of an order of the District Court of Missoula County, Fourth Judicial District (Montana), entered in a marital dissolution proceeding brought by appellee ex-wife. The order awarded nearly all the marital estate, including the marital home, to the ex-wife in lieu of requiring the ex-husband to make child support payments. The ex-husband contended several findings of fact were unsupported by substantial evidence.

The husband was a professional gambler. As a result, there was no way to verify his income, although he testified regarding his earnings at trial. The trial court found that the best interests of the children were served by allowing them to remain in the marital home, that forced sale of the home would divert and dissipate assets needed for support, and that the only reasonable means to protect and promote the best interests of the children was to award the home to the ex-wife in lieu of a support obligation.


  • On appeal, the court held there was no abuse of the discretion allowed by Mont. Code Ann. § 40-4-202 to divide property upon dissolution. 
  • The statute allowed the district to take into account support considerations and to protect the best interests of the children to set aside a portion of the jointly and separately held estate of the parties for the support of the children. 
  • The trial court considered all the factors and made a decision based on the extent to which property division and child support were interrelated. 
  • The trial court's findings and conclusions delineated all the statutory criteria.
The court affirmed the trial court's judgment.

Recommended Supplements and Study Aids for Property Law

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