Friday, March 23, 2012

Olilvas v. Olivas case brief


Olivas v. Olivas case brief summary
780 P.2d 640 (N.M. Ct. App. 1989)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Respondent husband challenged the district court's final order dividing community property in a divorce action that was filed by petitioner wife.

DISCUSSION

  • The husband appealed the district court's order regarding property. 
  • The court held that the husband was not entitled to compensation for his alleged constructive ouster from the community residence. 
  • There was substantial evidence that the husband's purpose in leaving the community residence was to live with a girlfriend and his departure was the reason that the wife filed for a divorce. 
  • The husband maintained that after the divorce, he used his salary to pay taxes and the community now owed him for such payments. 
  • The court held that the husband was not entitled to compensation because he failed to meet his burden of proof that he used his salary to pay the taxes.
  • As far as awarding compensation for missing equipment, the court ruled that there was no bailment in the wife for missing tools and that other alleged missing equipment was awarded to the wife and so she bore the loss, or that the evidence was lacking to establish the claim. 
  • Further, the court found that although the husband may have increased the value of the wife's property and would ordinarily be entitled to a credit, the value of the increase was de minimus and failed to justify the district court's reconsideration.

CONCLUSION

The court affirmed the property distribution as ordered by the district court.

NOTES
-Because of a lengthy delay between the Olivases’ divorce decree and the property division, Mr. Olivas waited several years before seeking rent from Mrs. Olivas, who had remained in their home.

Rule:
When a spouse departs a residence held as community property due to marital friction, a constructive ouster is effected.
ouster
-The unlawful dispossession of a party lawfully entitled to possession of real property.

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