Logo
Call Now(480)305-8300

Statements Regarding Property Are Binding In a Divorce

Posted on : August 9, 2016, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Statements Regarding Property Are Binding in a Divorce

Statements Regarding Property Are Binding in a Divorce

In Arizona, property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property. A spouse claiming otherwise must offer clear and convincing evidence in support.

In Hofstra v. Hofstra 474 P.2d 869 (1970), the Court of Appeals heard an appeal regarding this issue. A husband appealed the trial court’s ruling that a certain property – the Coyote Ranch — was community property.

Facts of the Case

Mr. Hofstra and Mrs. Hofstra were married in 1949. They had seven children. The last was born in 1967 which was the same year that husband filed for divorce. The trial court divided the property between the couple. It also awarded Mrs. Hofstra monthly child support of $250 for each child.

The trial court also ruled that the couple owned Coyote Springs Ranch as community property. Husband appealed. He claims Coyote Springs as his separate property. He also appealed the award of child support.

Coyote Springs Ranch as Community Property

Statements Regarding Whether Property Binding in Divorce.

Statements Regarding Whether Property Binding in Divorce.

Husband had acquired substantial separate property early in the marriage when the couple lived in another state. Mr. Hofstra and his wife then moved to Arizona after the first three children were born. There, the couple invested money earned from the sale of Husband’s property or loans secured by that property. These investments included a property called Coyote Springs Ranch.

Husband purchased it in 1966. He testified under oath that he considered it to be community property when he bought it. He borrowed $125,000 for a down payment and operating costs. He pledged his separate assets as security for this loan. He later made another principal payment of $80,000. For this, he used both his own separate funds and separate funds belonging to wife.

Mr. Hofstra claims the trial court erred when it determined that the property was community property. The Court of Appeals reviewed the facts and the law.

Under Arizona law, Arizona courts must presume that property acquired in Arizona during the marriage is community property. The spouse claiming differently must present clear and convincing evidence supporting his position.

Here, the couple bought Coyote Springs Ranch during the marriage. Husband testified that he considered the Coyote Springs Ranch to be community property. That testimony binds him.

Claimed Lien on Coyote Springs Ranch

Statement Regarding Property Are Binding in a Divorce.

Statement Regarding Property Are Binding in a Divorce.

Husband next argues the Court should have given him a lien on the Coyote Springs Ranch property. He claims a lien equal to the loan he took for the down payment. However, the Court of Appeals said that a husband who improves community property with his separate funds isn’t automatically entitled to reimbursement. He must make an early and clear claim for reimbursement.

Mr. Hofstra first mentioned his claimed lien to wife at the divorce trial. That, the Court of Appeals ruled, was too late. Therefore, husband did not have a claim on it in the amount of the $125,000 loan.

Alimony and Child Support

The Court of Appeals reviewed the alimony and child support awarded. It reduced the child support payments from $250 to $200 per month per child.

Disposition

The Arizona Court of Appeals lowered the child support payments from $250 to $200 per child. Otherwise, it affirmed the ruling of the lower court. This decision was subsequently distinguished by the Arizona Court of Appeals in the appeal of Moser v. Moser.

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
A Google User
A Google User
20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
A Google User
A Google User
21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Google User
Google User
14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
A Google User
A Google User
16:03 22 Nov 17
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
A Google User
A Google User
22:14 28 Jun 17
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
A Google User
A Google User
18:16 18 Sep 17
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
A Google User
A Google User
19:22 23 Aug 17
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
A Google User
A Google User
17:44 23 Jun 16
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
Bassam Ziadeh
Bassam Ziadeh
21:20 02 Apr 18
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Larry Flint
Larry Flint
21:53 27 Feb 18
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Sam Franchimone
Sam Franchimone
22:09 12 Sep 13


 

What’s Hot – Blog