In the Matter of the Marriage of Susan Jacqueline BOATFIELD, Petitioner-Appellant, and Randall Edward BOATFIELD, Respondent-Respondent.
B. Reed, Senior Judge. (General Judgment; Supplemental
Judgment entered September 3, 2014)
Marie Martwick, Judge. (Supplemental Judgment entered
February 27, 2014)
and submitted on May 15, 2018.
Columbia County Circuit Court 113217;
Michael J. Fearl argued the cause for appellant. Also on the
reply brief was Schulte, Anderson, Downes, Aronson &
Bittner, P.C. On the opening brief was Clayton C. Patrick.
K. Fitzgerald argued the cause for respondent. Also on the
brief was Case & Dusterhoff, LLP.
Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Chief Judge, and Powers,
Or.App. 717] Case Summary: Wife appeals a general judgment of
dissolution and a supplemental judgment awarding spousal
support. The disputes on appeal concern the spousal support
and life insurance awards. Wife contends that the trial
court's award was not "just and equitable"
under ORS 107.105(1)(d), given that this was a long-term
marriage and the disparity in the parties' incomes and
earning capacities. Held: The trial court failed to
make sufficient findings to support its spousal support and
life insurance awards. As a result of this error, the Court
of Appeals is unable to determine whether those
determinations were "just and equitable."
Or.App. 718] ORTEGA, P. J.
appeals a general judgment of dissolution and a supplemental
judgment awarding spousal support, asserting five assignments
of error. The primary disputes on appeal concern the spousal
support and life insurance awards. We reject wife's other
three assignments of error without further discussion. We
conclude that the trial court failed to make sufficient
findings to support its spousal support award and its
decision not to require husband to purchase life insurance,
leaving us unable to determine whether those determinations
were "just and equitable" under ORS 107.105(1)(d).
Accordingly, we reverse and remand for the trial court to
make the appropriate findings and to reconsider the spousal
support and life insurance awards, and otherwise affirm.
requests de novo review; however, because this is
not an exceptional case, we decline to exercise our
discretion to apply such review. See ORS
19.415(3)(b) (stating that we have discretion to apply de
novo review in equitable actions); ORAP 5.40(8)(c)
(stating that we will exercise that discretion only in
exceptional cases). Accordingly, because we decline to review
the facts de novo, we are bound by a trial
court's findings of historical fact if there is any
evidence in the record to support them. Berg and
Berg, 250 Or.App. 1, 2, 279 P.3d 286 (2012). "[T]he
trial court's award will be upheld if, given the findings
of the trial court that are supported by the record, the
court's determination that an award of support is
'just and equitable' represents a choice among
legally correct alternatives." Id.
sought an award of $2, 000 per month in indefinite spousal
support and a requirement for husband to maintain $300, 000
in life insurance naming wife as the beneficiary for as long
as he had an obligation to pay spousal support. The court
awarded wife $1, 050 per month in transitional support for 12
years and made no life insurance award. Over the course of
the proceedings, the court made the following findings
relevant to the issue of spousal support:
"[Wife] is 47 years of age and husband is 48 years of
age. Both of the parties are in apparent good health with no
[297 Or.App. 719] health problems sufficient to keep them
from being fully and gainfully employed. The parties were
married in 1984 when she was 19 and he was 21. She did not
graduate from high school. The parties have two adult
children. [Wife] has been a homemaker with some employment,
usually at unskilled labor jobs. [Wife] has not had
significant employment in a number of years and this Court
finds she is underemployed. Husband has been steadily
employed since the time of the marriage now working for Ford
Motor Company for the last 22 years as a warehouse
"The Court would indicate that, as stated in the
original letter, this Court believes [wife] is underemployed.
She has made no significant effort to find employment or to
otherwise offset the parties' debt during the entire ...