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In re Marriage of Hostetler

Court of Appeals of Oregon

February 25, 2015

In the Matter of the Marriage of Linda Sue HOSTETLER, nka Linda Sue Miller, Petitioner-Respondent, and Ronald Jay HOSTETLER, Respondent-Appellant

Argued and Submitted April 8, 2013.

Page 127

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Marion County Circuit Court 10C30754. Thomas M. Hart, Judge.

Richard F. Alway argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.

Russell Lipetzky filed the brief for respondent.

Before Duncan, Presiding Judge, and Haselton, Chief Judge, and Schuman, Senior Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 129

[269 Or.App. 313] DUNCAN, P. J.

Husband appeals from a dissolution judgment, assigning error to the trial court's property division and its denial of his request for attorney fees. With respect to the property division, husband argues that the trial court erred by failing to give him one half of the marital asset portion of wife's retirement accounts and by assigning all of the marital debt to him. We conclude that, contrary to husband's arguments, the trial court engaged in the process contemplated by ORS 107.105(1)(f) (2008) and properly exercised its discretion in determining a just and proper division of the parties' assets and liabilities.[1] With respect to the attorney fees, husband argues that the trial court erred by failing to explain its denial of his request for attorney fees. We conclude that, because husband did not request, as required by ORCP 68 (C)(4)(g), that the trial court state its findings of fact and conclusions of law on the record, the court did not err in failing to do so. Accordingly, we affirm.

The relevant facts are undisputed.[2] After dating intermittently for 17 years, the parties began living together in March 2006, and they married in July 2007. They separated in January 2010, and wife filed for dissolution in March 2010. At the time of the dissolution trial, the parties had been married approximately four years. Wife was 54 years old, and husband was 61. The parties have one adopted child, a son, who was age nine at the time of trial. After trial, the trial court entered a general judgment of dissolution on September 30, 2011.

At the time of their marriage, husband was retired and receiving a monthly pension benefit from the Oregon [269 Or.App. 314] Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). At the time of the dissolution trial, husband's monthly income was $6,598; he received $5,100 in PERS benefits and $1,498 in Social Security benefits based on his employment history. He also received $962 in Social Security benefits for the parties' minor son, of whom he had custody. During the marriage, husband stayed home to care for the parties' son, and wife worked as a mental-health therapist. At the time of the dissolution trial, wife's monthly income from employment was $4,301. Wife was also a member of PERS and owned three retirement accounts related to her public employment: a PERS Tier Two account, a PERS Individual Account Program (IAP), and an Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP) account.

The parties' dissolution trial was conducted over two days. On the first day, the parties and the court resolved most of the disputed issues relating to the dissolution, including child custody, a division of their tangible personal property, and the value of the family home. On the second day, the parties resolved disputed issues relating to child support. The remaining issues concerned the division of the parties' remaining assets (including

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the family home and wife's PERS accounts) and the division of marital debt. Husband offered into evidence a proposed distribution of assets and liabilities.

Husband requested an equal division of the marital asset portion of wife's PERS accounts. According to husband, the account balances at the time of trial were as follows: $29,386 in the Tier Two account, $27,297 in the IAP account, and $11,818 in the OSGP account, for a total of $68,501. After deducting the premarital value of the accounts and estimated future taxes, husband calculated a net marital increase in value of $23,153. Wife did not dispute those figures. Husband requested an award of half of the accounts' net marital increase: $11,576.

Husband offered evidence that the debt accumulated by the parties during the marriage--and prior to their separation--totaled $8,469. That debt, according to husband, derived from a credit card, a credit line, and a medical bill for the parties' son. Wife did not dispute either the amount [269 Or.App. 315] or nature of the marital debt. Husband indicated that he was currently paying the debt and would continue to do so, but requested that half of the value of the debt be " attributable to ...


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