e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 76109
Opinion Date : 08/26/2021
e-Journal Date : 09/16/2021
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Weaver v. Kracke
Practice Area(s) : Family Law
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Ronayne Krause, Beckering, and Boonstra
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Divorce; Spousal support; Medical & health insurance expenses; Order to liquidate assets for self-support; Fault; Imputed income; Division of property; Gun safe; Judgment of divorce (JOD)

Summary

The court vacated the trial court’s decision to award the gun safe used at the parties' store to plaintiff-ex-husband and affirmed the remaining provisions of the JOD. The case was remanded for the limited purpose of rendering a proper division of the gun safe as part of the marital estate. Defendant-ex-wife argued, among other things, that “the trial court abused its discretion by conditioning defendant’s entitlement to spousal support on whether plaintiff chooses to engage in contract work for the Department of Defense.” She also asserted that the trial court clearly erred as to several factual findings underlying its spousal support award. She argued that it was erroneous for the trial court to find that she “was equally capable of working even though it made ‘repeated references to [her] substance abuse issues and their interference with her ability to work;’ however, the trial court never insinuated that alcohol abuse was preventing defendant from being able to work, and defendant never testified to that effect.” On appeal, she asserted that, because of “alcoholism, she suffered from a medical disability and that the trial court erred by failing to find that she was disabled and give that finding substantial weight.” However, the record contained no evidence that she “suffered from a disability or that this disability precluded her from working or renting her properties.” In fact, she “testified that she planned to keep the store open, and that she was ‘completely ready’ to rent out the loft for her income. Moreover, she indicated that her alcoholism had been successfully treated.” Thus, considering her “own testimony, the trial court’s finding that she was equally capable of working was not clearly erroneous.” As to the gun safe, plaintiff’s own testimony did not support the claim “that he purchased the safe before the marriage. Plaintiff testified that, while he considered it to be his gun safe, the parties jointly acquired it after they were married. Because it was acquired after the marriage, the gun safe was marital property, and the trial court committed a clear error by finding otherwise.”

Full Text Opinion