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In re Marriage of Pollock

Supreme Court of Oregon, En Banc

July 30, 2015

In the Matter of the Marriage of Patricia POLLOCK, Petitioner on Review, and William Lawrence POLLOCK, Respondent on Review

Argued and Submitted September 16, 2014

Page 118

On review from the Court of Appeals CC D008-0256; CA A147846. [*]

Pollock & Pollock, 259 Or.App. 230, 313 P.3d 367 (2013)

David N. Hobson, Jr., Hobson and Associates, LLC, Aloha, argued the cause and filed the briefs for petitioner on review.

Helen C. Tompkins, Law Office of Helen C. Tompkins, PC, Lake Oswego, argued the cause and filed the brief for respondent on review.

OPINION

Page 119

[357 Or. 576] BREWER, J.

The issue in this case is whether discovery of the parties' assets must be provided in a marital dissolution action after the parties have entered into a settlement agreement but before the trial court has ruled on a contested motion to enforce the agreement. As explained below, we conclude that the trial court in this case did not satisfy its duty under ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) to ensure that the parties had fully disclosed their assets before it decided husband's motion to enforce a mediated agreement and entered a judgment of dissolution based on that decision. Accordingly, we reverse the portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals that upheld the trial court's discovery ruling, vacate the remainder of the Court of Appeals' decision, and reverse the judgment of dissolution and remand to the circuit court for further proceedings.

I. FACTS AND OTHER BACKGROUND

We take the relevant facts from the Court of Appeals' decision and the record. The parties were married in 2001 after signing a premarital agreement providing that, in the event of a marital dissolution, each party would receive his or her separate property as listed in an attached schedule. In May 2008, wife filed a petition for dissolution of the marriage. Wife contested the validity of the premarital agreement, but the trial court concluded that it was enforceable and entered a limited judgment to that effect. Wife did not appeal from that judgment.

Wife first filed a request for production of documents several months after she initiated the dissolution action. After the trial court upheld the premarital agreement, wife's counsel continued to request discovery related to husband's separate property that was excluded from division under the premarital agreement. In a letter to husband's attorney, wife's counsel stated, " If we can reach some understanding with regards to [our discovery requests and another matter], then we are more than willing to mediate." Husband's counsel eventually sought a protective order to limit disclosure related to husband's separate assets. The trial court did not directly rule on the motion for a protective [357 Or. 577] order, or on wife's request for production, but instead set " parameters" on the discovery. The court indicated that, in light of the premarital agreement, it would permit discovery of certain of husband's separate property, but explicitly deferred ruling on the discovery issues to afford the parties an opportunity to settle the case. Husband's counsel subsequently produced a substantial amount of the requested discovery materials, including some materials relating to assets excluded from division under the premarital agreement, but withheld certain other materials on the ground that they were not relevant in light of the terms of the pre-marital agreement.

Eventually, the parties agreed to mediate their dispute concerning the division of their marital assets and other financial issues not covered by the premarital agreement. Both parties were represented by counsel in the mediation process, which was conducted by a private mediator. At the conclusion of the mediation, they signed a handwritten settlement agreement (the mediated agreement) that purported to " resolve[ ] all claims between the parties." Among other provisions, the mediated agreement divided their marital assets between them and provided for a spousal support award to wife. The mediated agreement also provided that husband would receive " all accounts in his name." The parties did not place their settlement on the record in open court. Nor did the mediated agreement indicate whether the parties had fully disclosed their assets to each other or, if not, why further disclosure was unnecessary.

Based on the mediated agreement, husband proposed a " Stipulated General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage," which he forwarded to wife. After some disagreement between the parties over the terms, husband eventually submitted a proposed judgment to the trial court. Wife objected to the proposed

Page 120

judgment, arguing that the mediated agreement should not be enforced. Wife asserted that she had signed the agreement under duress that was the product of various actions of her previous attorney (who had been replaced) and the side effects of recent surgery. Wife also contended that the property division provided in the mediated agreement was not just and proper.

[357 Or. 578] Thereafter, husband filed a motion to enforce the mediated agreement. Before the trial court held a hearing on that motion, wife filed a new request for production of documents, and, after husband declined to provide certain documents pertaining to his separate property, wife filed a motion to compel production. The trial court deferred ruling on wife's motion to compel production. The court stated that it would not order wife's requested discovery in the event that it determined that the mediated agreement was enforceable; if it were to conclude that the agreement was not enforceable, the court stated, it would revisit wife's motion to compel production.

In August 2010, after a two-day hearing on husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement, the trial court issued a letter opinion that included a detailed valuation of the parties' marital assets and numerous specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court determined, among other things, that neither party had been coerced or improperly induced to enter the agreement; that " [wife] and [husband] entered into the mediated settlement agreement freely and voluntarily" ; and that the agreement did not " violate the law or contravene public policy."

The trial court nevertheless made an " adjustment" to the mediated agreement by ordering husband to pay wife an additional $300,000. The adjustment involved a loan of approximately $300,000 that husband had made to a Ms. Baldocci.[1] In its letter opinion, the court made two determinations explaining the adjustment. The court first stated:

" The Court specifically finds that the mediated settlement agreement without the distribution of the marital asset of the loan to * * * Baldocci, with the values of the property adjusted as discussed above, is within the range of possible [357 Or. 579] property divisions that are just and proper in all of the circumstances of this case."

Immediately following that statement, the court concluded:

" The Court further finds that with the adjustment of the mediated settlement agreement with the award of the loan to * * * Baldocci to [wife] continues the settlement agreement to be within the range of possible property divisions that are just and proper."

In the wake of the trial court's ruling, confusion arose between the parties as to the trial court's reasoning with respect to the Baldocci loan. In an effort to resolve that confusion, the trial court explained at a later hearing that it had considered it inequitable for husband to draw down on a line of credit against the parties' residence--that was distributed to wife in the mediated agreement--and then reduce the amount of spousal support that he owed to wife under the mediated agreement by amounts that he had paid on the line of credit. In an effort to rectify that perceived inequity, the court explained that it had turned to the Baldocci loan, which apparently had nothing to do with the line of credit beyond the fact that its outstanding balance of $300,000 approximated the amount that husband had withdrawn on the line of credit. Because, as the trial court further explained, it believed that the Baldocci loan was a marital asset that had not been allocated by the mediated agreement, the court had awarded that loan to wife.[2]

Page 121

Husband appealed the ensuing dissolution judgment, contending, among other arguments, that the terms of the mediated agreement should control the division of the parties' marital property and that the trial court had erred in adjusting the property division. Wife cross-appealed, [357 Or. 580] arguing, as pertinent here, that the trial court had erred in failing to rule on and grant her discovery motion. Wife sought to have the dissolution judgment set aside and to have the case remanded for a trial.

Before the Court of Appeals, husband contended that, in light of the fact that the trial court had determined that the property division it effected was just and proper in its original form, the court had erred by modifying the mediated agreement. The Court of Appeals rejected that argument, ruling that the trial court, in fact, had not determined that the division of property was just and proper. Pollock and Pollock, 259 Or.App. 230, 236, 313 P.3d 367 (2013). The Court of Appeals further concluded that the trial court had erred in determining that the mediated agreement did not, by its terms, provide for a distribution of the balance owing on the Baldocci loan--a determination that was integral to the trial court's rationale for awarding the loan to wife. Id. at 237-38. The Court of Appeals concluded instead that, because the agreement provided that husband would receive all accounts in his name, and because the funds loaned to Baldocci had been withdrawn from one of husband's separate accounts, the agreement in fact awarded the loan to husband. As a consequence, the Court of Appeals agreed with husband's argument that the trial court had erred in awarding the Baldocci loan to wife. Id. at 238. Because the Court of Appeals understood that wife " does not dispute husband's assertion that there was no evidence indicating that the Baldocci loan came from anywhere other than husband's separate account," the court concluded that

" [t]he trial court's interpretation--and corresponding 'adjustment'--of the agreement was flawed as a matter of law; under the terms of the settlement agreement, husband alone was entitled to repayment on the Baldocci loan."

Id. at 238.

Because it believed that there had been no determination that the mediated agreement--as properly interpreted--effected a " just and proper" division of the parties' divisible property under ORS 107.105(1)(f), the [357 Or. 581] Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court to make that determination in the first instance.[3] Id.

The Court of Appeals thereafter turned to wife's cross-appeal which, as noted above, challenged the trial court's discovery ruling. Wife argued that the trial court's ruling--more precisely, its failure to rule on and grant her motion to compel production before deciding whether to enforce the mediated agreement--improperly prevented her from

Page 122

investigating, and presenting evidence of, husband's separate assets and resulted in a settlement that was not just and proper in all the circumstances under ORS 107.105(1)(f). Wife reasoned that all the relevant circumstances, in particular, the nature and extent of husband's separate assets, were not before the court at the hearing on the motion to enforce the mediated agreement. Wife asserted that two statutes, ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F),[4] and ORS 107.089,[5] [357 Or. 582] required the court to compel production of the documents that she sought.

The Court of Appeals disagreed. With respect to ORS 107.089, the court concluded that wife had waived her right to invoke that statute, because her " discovery requests were pending before the trial court [when] she voluntarily signed the settlement agreement, which * * * purported to 'resolve[ ] all claims between the parties.'" Pollock, 259 Or.App. at 243. According to the Court of Appeals:

" To the extent that wife did not have as full a view of husband's separate assets as she wished at the mediation, she [357 Or. 583] relinquished any right to conduct a more thorough inquiry by signing that agreement. Husband's counsel provided a substantial amount of information before the mediation, while simultaneously refusing to turn over other requested items. At that point, wife could have refused to settle and persisted in her discovery requests. She chose to settle, and she did so while apparently content with knowing what discovery materials she wanted but did not have."

Id.

The Court of Appeals also rejected wife's argument based on ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F), reasoning that " a trial court may presume that parties who have reached a settlement agreement after an arm's length negotiation have already sufficiently considered the nature

Page 123

and extent of each other's holdings." Id. at 244. For that proposition, the court relied on a policy favoring settlements expressed in ORS 107.104 (set out below), 357 Or. at 589, and this court's decision in McDonnal and McDonnal, 293 Or. 772, 779, 652 P.2d 1247 (1982), which we discuss in some detail below. The court ultimately concluded that ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) " does not impose a requirement on trial courts to compel complete discovery in order to permit one party to reexamine the circumstances underlying a voluntary settlement agreement." Pollock, 259 Or.App. at 246. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed on wife's cross-appeal.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Decisional Framework on Review

Wife did not seek review of the Court of Appeals decision on husband's appeal. Accordingly, it is not necessary for us to consider whether the trial court's " adjustment" of the division of assets in the mediated agreement was within the scope of its authority in deciding husband's motion to enforce that agreement, or whether, if the trial court had such authority, its decision to do so was supported by the evidence in the record.[6] For the same reason, we do not consider [357 Or. 584] whether the Court of Appeals correctly resolved husband's objections to the adjustment that the trial court made.

That said, wife's challenge to the trial court's discovery ruling and the Court of Appeals decision affirming that ruling will, if successful, require a remand to the trial court to reconsider that ruling without regard to its decision on the merits of husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement. Accordingly, despite wife's failure to challenge the Court of Appeals' decision on husband's appeal, a reversal and remand on wife's cross-appeal would result in a reversal of the judgment of dissolution embodying the trial court's decision on the merits of husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement, as well as the vacation of the Court of Appeals decision remanding the case to the trial court on husband's appeal. With that preface, we turn to wife's cross-appeal.

B. Prejudgment Discovery in the Wake of a Mediated Agreement--the Role of ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F)

In her motion to compel production of documents, wife sought discovery regarding husband's separate assets under the premarital agreement. Husband previously had objected to the production of much of that material and, in his response to the motion to compel production, husband renewed that objection. As noted, the trial court deferred ruling on the motion to compel production pending its resolution of husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement. In a memorandum opposing husband's motion to enforce the agreement, wife argued that she was entitled to discovery concerning husband's separate property on the ground that, because the agreement did not award her a larger share of the parties' marital assets, it did not effect a just and proper division of that property. The question is whether, by deferring its ruling on the motion to compel production, the trial court erroneously deprived wife of discovery that was relevant to her objections to enforcement of the mediated agreement.

There are multiple statutory provisions relating to discovery in an action for dissolution of marriage. Two of [357 Or. 585] those provisions are at issue here, although it is only necessary to discuss one in detail.[7] Without limiting " in

Page 124

any way the discovery provisions of the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure or any other discovery provision of Oregon law," ORS 107.089 entitles a party to a dissolution action to receive discovery of a number of particular types of documents. We detain ourselves only briefly with that provision because, although wife generally relies on it, she has not shown that husband has withheld any of the types of documents that are subject to that provision. Accordingly, we do not consider its application here, nor do we consider whether the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that, by entering into the mediated agreement, wife waived her right to further discovery under that provision.

That brings us to ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F), which, as noted, provides:

" (1) Whenever the court renders a judgment of marital annulment, dissolution or separation, the court may provide in the judgment:
" * * * * *
" (f) For the division or other disposition between the parties of the real or personal property, or both, of either or both of the parties as may be just and proper in all the circumstances. In determining the division of property under this paragraph, the following apply:
" * * * * *
" (F) The court shall require full disclosure of all assets by the parties in arriving at a just property division."

Although the legislature did not define the phrase " full disclosure of all assets," in ordinary terms, " full [357 Or. 586] disclosure" in a dissolution action requires disclosure of the existence of all assets of the parties, as well as disclosure of the value of those assets. See, e.g., In re Murphy, 10 Ohio App.3d 134, 135-37, 10 Ohio B. 184, 461 N.E.2d 910, 912-13, 915 (1983) (so holding). That meaning does not appear to be in dispute in this case. What is in dispute is whether subsection (1)(f)(F) requires " full disclosure of all assets by the parties" before the trial court determines whether a settlement agreement that the parties previously have entered into should be enforced. On its surface, the text of the provision appears to be broad enough to apply in such circumstances. Moreover, nothing in the immediate statutory context or legislative history of the provision contradicts that tentative text-based interpretation.[8]

Page 125

[357 Or. 587] As noted, the Court of Appeals reached a different conclusion. In affirming the trial court's decision to defer ruling on wife's discovery motion, the Court of Appeals assumed that there might be circumstances in which a trial court could order discovery under subsection (1)(f)(F) while a motion to enforce a settlement agreement was pending. Pollock, 259 Or.App. at 246. However, relying on the proposition that " Oregon law affords wide latitude to parties in crafting settlement agreements," together with " this state's policy of favoring settlement agreements," the Court of Appeals concluded that " the asset disclosure provision of ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) does not impose a requirement on trial courts to compel complete discovery in order to permit one party to reexamine the circumstances underlying a voluntary settlement agreement." Id. at 245-46. Whether that conclusion is correct is the ultimate issue on review.

Before addressing that issue, though, we note that an unstated premise underlying wife's position is that the discovery she sought was relevant to the trial court's decision whether to enforce the mediated agreement. In deferring its ruling on wife's discovery motion, the trial court apparently assumed that the disputed documents were not relevant to its decision. For wife's argument to be correct, the trial court must have been mistaken in that understanding. Accordingly, we first briefly consider that issue.

In determining whether the disputed documents were relevant, we confine ourselves to wife's argument that she was prevented from developing the record before the trial court on husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement because she was not afforded discovery that was relevant to her objection that the property division effected by the mediated agreement was not just and proper.[9] The [357 Or. 588] viability of that argument depends in part on whether the trial court had authority, in deciding whether to enforce the agreement, to consider the value of husband's separate property that was insulated from division by the limited judgment upholding the parties' premarital agreement.

Husband appears to believe that the trial court lacked such authority. In particular, he argues that, because the trial court previously had upheld the premarital agreement, " discovery was limited to joint assets or to wife's separate property used to pay joint debts or to increase husband's separate property." Apart from his generalized argument that the nature and value of his premarital property was not relevant because the trial court previously had upheld the premarital agreement, husband offers no explanation why the trial court lacked such authority.[10] That omission is understandable because our prior decisions establish that a trial court has discretion to make an unequal division of marital assets if to do so would be just and proper in all the circumstances. Kunze and Kunze, 337 Or. 122, 135, 92 P.3d 100 (2004). That equitable determination " takes into account the social and financial objectives of the dissolution, as well as any other considerations

Page 126

that bear upon the question of what division of the marital property is equitable." Id.

It follows--contrary to husband's view--that evidence of the existence and value of the separate property allocated to husband under the premarital agreement was relevant to the determination whether the mediated agreement effected a just and proper division of the parties' marital assets. However, that preliminary conclusion does not, by itself, necessarily mean that wife was entitled to conduct further discovery concerning those assets. That determination depends, in addition, on whether the requirement of full disclosure under ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) remained in force after the parties executed the mediated agreement. We now turn to that issue.

[357 Or. 589] As discussed, the Court of Appeals concluded that the full disclosure requirement had, at most, a limited application after the parties executed the mediated agreement. The Court of Appeals largely based that conclusion on the policy favoring settlements codified in ORS 107.104 and expressed in this court's decision in McDonnal. To evaluate that conclusion, we first examine ORS 107.104, which provides:

" (1) It is the policy of this state:
" (a) To encourage the settlement of suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation; and
" (b) For courts to enforce the terms of settlements described in subsection (2) of this section to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law or would clearly contravene public policy.
" (2) In a suit for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, the court may enforce the terms set forth in a stipulated judgment signed by the parties, a judgment resulting from a settlement on the record or a judgment incorporating a marital settlement agreement:
" (a) As contract terms using contract remedies;
" (b) By imposing any remedy available to enforce a judgment, including but not limited to contempt; or
" (c) By any combination of the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection.
" (3) A party may seek to enforce an agreement and obtain remedies described in subsection (2) of this section by filing a motion, serving notice on the other party in the manner provided by ORCP 7 and, if a remedy under subsection (2)(b) of this section is sought, complying with the statutory requirements for that remedy. All claims for relief arising out of the same acts or omissions must be joined in the same proceeding."

The Court of Appeals correctly noted that ORS 107.104(1)(b) addresses settlement agreements that, unlike the agreement at issue here, have been incorporated into a judgment. The Court of Appeals also was correct in concluding that the general policy favoring the settlement of dissolution actions set out in ORS 107.104(1)(a) is not, by its [357 Or. 590] terms, limited in scope to settlements that have been incorporated into judgments. However, that policy does not necessarily impose a contextual limitation on the scope or reach of ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F). Instead, whether the full disclosure requirement is implicated when a party objects to enforcement of a marital settlement agreement is informed by the nature of the trial court's role in determining whether to enforce such agreements, a matter that this court took up in McDonnal.

In McDonnal, which preceded the enactment of ORS 107.104, this court addressed the role of marital settlement agreements in the determination of a just and equitable spousal support award under ORS 107.105 (1981). In that case, a marital settlement agreement that was incorporated into a dissolution judgment provided for a review of spousal support " at the expiration of three years" without a showing of a change in circumstances. McDonnal, 293 Or. at 775. Similar to today's version, ORS 107.105(1) (1981) prescribed a list of factors that the court should consider in making a spousal support award. Also similar to today's version, ORS 107.105(1)(c) (1981) further provided that " [t]he court may approve, ratify and decree voluntary property

Page 127

settlement agreements providing for contribution to the support of a party." This court explained in McDonnal that, under ORS 107.105 (1981), " agreements made in anticipation of a dissolution are generally enforceable and accepted by the court when they are equitable given the circumstances of the case." Id. at 778 (citations omitted). The court further observed that a settlement agreement has additional significance after it has been approved by the court and incorporated into the dissolution judgment. In that circumstance, the court said, the agreement is to be enforced " as a matter of public policy." Id. at 779. This court has since stated that McDonnal is consistent with the policies set out in ORS 107.104. Matar and Harake, 353 Or. 446, 457, 300 P.3d 144 (2013).

Twenty years after McDonnal, this court in Grossman and Grossman, 338 Or. 99, 106 P.3d 618 (2005), examined the nature of a trial court's enforcement role in the context of an agreement relating to the division of marital property in anticipation of separation that had not [357 Or. 591] been incorporated into a stipulated judgment. On the one hand, the court said, under ORS 107.105(1), a trial court has authority to reject a marital settlement agreement if its enforcement would be inequitable and, instead, to make a just and proper distribution of property, after a trial, based on the court's assessment of all the circumstances. Id. at 107. On the other hand, the court said, in view of the policy favoring settlements, a trial court ordinarily should accept a settlement agreement's division of property if it is within the range of just and proper property divisions. Id. at 106-07. Of particular importance to this court in Grossman was the discretionary nature of a trial court's task in effecting a just and proper division of property. In that regard, the court noted that " in many cases a range of possible property divisions likely would be just and proper." Id. at 107.

In sum, this court's decisions before and after the enactment of ORS 107.104 establish that, despite the general policy favoring settlements, a trial court's role in deciding whether to enforce a prejudgment marital settlement agreement is not merely to approve the parties' voluntary act. See, e.g., Norris and Norris, 302 Or. 123, 126, 727 P.2d 115 (1986) (" Application [of the just and proper standard in ORS 107.105(1)(f)] is ultimately the duty of the court, not of the parties." ).[11] Although a trial court should not substitute its judgment by rejecting a settlement that falls within the range of what is just and proper, the court has the ultimate authority to arrive at a just and proper property division by determining whether a settlement falls within that range. See Grossman, 338 Or. at 107; McDonnal, 293 Or. at 778.

So understood, nothing about the policy favoring settlements that is codified in ORS 107.104 or expressed in this court's prior decisions renders the " full disclosure" requirement of ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) inapplicable in the [357 Or. 592] context of a prejudgment motion to enforce a settlement agreement. In that setting, the parties are entitled to discovery under ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) that is relevant to the issue of whether the division of marital assets effected by the agreement is within a range that is just and proper in all the circumstances. It is through that lens that the trial court was required to consider wife's motion to compel production in this case. In postponing a ruling on that motion until after it decided husband's motion to enforce the mediated agreement, the trial court failed to recognize that the full disclosure requirement applied to the inquiry before it.

Husband remonstrates that, by agreeing to resolve " all claims between the parties," wife " waived" any right to further

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discovery pertaining to husband's separate assets. We disagree. Although the Court of Appeals relied on that provision of the mediated agreement in concluding that wife had waived any right to further discovery under ORS 107.089, that court recognized that husband's waiver argument did not foreclose wife's reliance on ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F). See Pollock, 259 Or.App. at 244 (observing that the " fact that wife waived her right to discovery under ORS 107.089 does not end the inquiry" ). In making that distinction, the Court of Appeals correctly recognized that ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) imposes a mandate on courts (not parties) to require full disclosure of the parties' assets in making a just property division. The trial court's duty under that statute was not a " claim" that the parties settled by signing the mediated agreement in this case, and we do not understand husband to make any developed argument to that effect. Cf. ORCP 18 (describing " claims" in terms of the " relief" that a party demands in a civil action). To the contrary, to conclude that the trial court's duty under ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F) was discharged merely because the parties had entered into a mediated settlement agreement that purported to resolve their claims would be irreconcilable with the terms of the statute. Instead, that statutory duty endured until the court entered a dissolution judgment that effected a just division of the parties' assets.[12] In short, before deciding whether the [357 Or. 593] mediated agreement should be enforced, the trial court was obligated to decide wife's motion to compel production under the standard prescribed by ORS 107.105(1)(f)(F). In failing to do so, the court erred.[13]

We hasten to add that we need not--and do not--determine to what extent the trial court was required to grant wife's motion to compel production. That is, we do not decide here whether wife was entitled to any particular documents. One of the challenges presented by the record in this case is that the parties seem to disagree as to which documents wife already has received. Moreover, in her motion to compel production, wife included broad-ranging requests that may or may not be necessary to satisfy the statutory requirement of full disclosure in the present setting. Two things are clear, however: (1) wife already has received considerable discovery; and (2) husband has withheld certain additional records pertaining to his separately held assets that may be relevant to the determination of whether the mediated agreement produced a just and proper division of the parties' marital assets. It is the task of the trial court on remand to determine whether and the extent to which husband has failed to provide full disclosure of his assets in the broader context of the parties' dispute as to whether the mediated agreement produced a just and proper award.

Finally, nothing in this opinion should be construed as a retreat from this court's emphasis in prior decisions on the importance of the policy encouraging dissolution [357 Or. 594] settlement agreements. Dissolution actions should be resolved expeditiously and at reasonable expense. When parties undertake to settle such actions, two precautions that were not taken here can help ensure the

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earliest principled finality: (1) placing the terms of the settlement on the record in open court, see ORS 107.104(1)(b) (providing that it is the policy of this state to " enforce the terms [of a judgment resulting from a settlement on the record] to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law or would clearly contravene public policy" ); and (2) expressly providing in the agreement and on the record that full disclosure of the parties' assets has been made and that the parties are satisfied with the information provided,[14] or, if not, why the settlement nevertheless is just and proper in the circumstances.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed in part and otherwise vacated. The general judgment and the supplemental judgment are reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.


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