Sunday, December 8, 2013

Michael v. Michael case brief

Michael v. Michael case brief summary
791 S.W.2d 772 (1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant husband challenged a judgment and decree of dissolution of the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis (Missouri), which awarded respondent wife the majority of the marital property and provided no maintenance to the husband.

CASE FACTS
The husband and wife separated after several years of marriage. Both parties were well educated. The husband worked for a while following the parties' marriage but, for a large part of the marriage, it was the wife who earned the largest share of the parties' income by working outside the home. The husband remained at home throughout the majority of the marriage and did not work outside of the home for several years. In the decree of dissolution, the trial court awarded the majority of the property to the wife and denied the husband's request for maintenance.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed the decision. 
  • It found that although the husband's contributions to the marriage, including making dinner and driving the wife to work, did not entitle him to an equal division of the property, the trial court abused its discretion in dividing the marital property. 
  • Further, the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the husband failed to establish his entitlement to maintenance, as he had become economically dependent on the wife, was unemployed, had not been employed in his chosen field for 15 years, and needed to acquire skills to reenter the workforce and become self-sufficient.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment and decree of dissolution of the trial court, which awarded the wife the majority of the marital property and provided no maintenance for the husband.


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