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In re Marriage of Hughes-Kuda

Court of Appeals of Oregon

July 6, 2017

In the Matter of the Marriage of Kathleen Ann HUGHES-KUDA, Petitioner-Respondent, and Alan Peter KUDA, Respondent-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted January 5, 2017

         Jackson County Circuit Court 13DR04446; Timothy C. Gerking, Judge.

          Laura Graser argued the cause and fled the briefs for appellant.

          George W. Kelly argued the cause and fled the brief for respondent.

          Before DeVore, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and Duncan, Judge pro tempore.

         Case Summary: Husband appeals from the trial court's amended general judgment of dissolution. The judgment directed wife to pay husband spousal support of $2, 750 per month for six and one half years. Husband challenges the award, contending that the trial court erred as a matter of law by failing to award support indefinitely. Held: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting spousal support to terminate in relation to wife's age and career. The parties kept separate finances, pursued their own careers, and did not have children together. Husband was not a typical caregiver or homemaker who curtailed a career to provide a home for the benefit of the family.

         Affirmed.

         [286 Or.App. 555] DeVORE, P.J.

         Husband appeals from the trial court's amended general judgment of dissolution. ORS 107.105. The judgment directed wife to pay husband spousal support of $2, 750 per month for six and one-half years. Husband challenges the award, contending that the trial court erred as a matter of law by failing to award support indefinitely. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm.

         Husband does not seek de novo review, ORS 19.415(3), and we do not believe such a review is warranted in this case. See ORAP 5.40 (8)(c) (de novo review appropriate only in exceptional cases). As a consequence, we are "bound by the trial court's express and implicit factual findings if they are supported by any evidence in the record, and we state the facts consistently with that standard." Morton and Morton, 252 Or.App. 525, 527, 287 P.3d 1227 (2012).

         The parties were married for 17 years. Before meeting husband, wife had earned her medical degree and became a psychiatrist. Throughout the marriage, wife worked demanding hours. Before and during the marriage, husband owned several businesses.

         The parties did not have children. The parties often ate separately, in part, due to wife's work schedule or her dietary preferences. Husband did some laundry, and sometimes each did their own. At times, wife hired people to help with home chores.

         The parties moved during the course of the marriage, living in Montana, North Dakota, and finally Oregon. The moves were prompted largely by wife's employment opportunities. At each location, husband started a new business-tiling businesses, a tree farm operation, and a car renovation business. Eventually, each business proved to be unsuccessful. Husband spent much of his time improving or remodeling the parties' homes. For at least four years of the marriage, wife rented a room closer to her work, living only part time with husband.

         [286 Or.App. 556] During the marriage, the parties kept separate finances. The parties did not have joint bank accounts or joint credit cards, and they did not purchase assets together. Wife paid all of the parties' household living expenses, including the mortgages, utilities, health insurance, home improvement costs, and other expenses. Wife also helped pay off husband's consumer debt several times. Generally, husband's financial contribution to the marriage was relatively insignificant. Occasionally, husband paid for restaurant dinners or movies, but, for the most part, husband did not spend his money on marital or household expenses. Any income husband derived from his businesses went into his personal account or went back into those businesses. In his business ...


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