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In re Marriage of Cardona

Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 23, 2014

In the Matter of the Marriage of KIMBERLY J. CARDONA, Petitioner-Appellant, and CHRIS J. CARDONA, Respondent-Respondent

Submitted March 7, 2014.

Marion County Circuit Court. 11C31825. Lindsay R Partridge, Judge.

Elaine D. Smith-Koop and Elaine D. Smith-Koop, LLC, filed the briefs for appellant.

Christopher J. Cardona filed the brief, Pro se.

Before Duncan, Presiding Judge, and Wollheim, Judge, and Lagesen, Judge.

OPINION

Page 67

[262 Or.App. 416] DUNCAN, P. J.

Wife appeals from a general judgment of dissolution, challenging the trial court's division of husband's military pension. We conclude that the trial court erred in its division of the military pension and reverse and remand the judgment for reconsideration under the correct legal standard.

The parties met in 1984, when they were both in the military. They began living together one year before they married in 1989. Husband was in the Navy and he continued to serve until 2006, when he retired and began to receive military pension benefits.

The parties had been married for over 23 years when they separated in March 2012, and wife filed a petition for dissolution. They have three adult children. At the time of trial, wife was age 50 and husband was age 49.

The parties stipulated to many provisions of the dissolution judgment, but the issues of spousal support and the division of husband's military pension were tried to the court. In a letter opinion, the trial court discussed the military pension in a paragraph describing the award of spousal support.[1] However, in the dissolution judgment, the trial court addressed

Page 68

the division of the pension separately from spousal support, awarding wife one-half of husband's pension benefits for a period of seven years. The court separately awarded wife stepped-down spousal support for seven years in the amounts and for the time periods described in its letter opinion.

[262 Or.App. 417] Wife appeals, contending that the trial court erred in awarding her a share of husband's military pension payments for only seven years. She contends that she is entitled to half of husband's ...


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