Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bell v. Bell case brief

Bell v. Bell case brief summary
794 P.2d 97 (1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant former husband challenged the order of the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial Circuit, Anchorage, which awarded legal and physical custody of the parties' child to appellee former wife, awarded child support based on a finding that the former husband had a net income of $ 2,500 per month, and made a determination as to the division of marital property.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the former husband challenged the trial court's award of legal and physical custody of the parties' child to the former wife, the court's basis for determining child support, and the court's determination and division of marital property. 
  • The court found that the trial court's finding that the parties were incapable of meaningful communication regarding matters relating to the best interests of their child was clearly erroneous, and thus the trial court's failure to award joint legal custody was improper. 
  • The court also remanded for a redetermination of physical custody and the visitation determination. 
  • Further, the court found that the trial court's award of child support was clearly erroneous in that it was based on an incorrect determination that the former husband's net monthly income was $2,500 and that the trial court failed to make the necessary deductions. 
  • Finally, the court found that the trial court improperly determined the division of marital property by using a method in the nature of rescission, because the parties commingled investments and one of the investments greatly depreciated in value.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the trial court's determination of child custody, award of child support, and determination as to the division of marital property. The case was remanded for further proceedings.


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