Posts tagged "1109015"

Valaskatgis v. Valaskatgis (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-090-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   14-P-1175                                  Appeals Court   EMANUEL NICHOLAS VALASKATGIS  vs.  LURYE ELLEN VALASKATGIS. No. 14-P-1175. Essex.     April 8, 2015. – August 5, 2015.   Present:  Cohen, Wolohojian, & Maldonado, JJ.     Divorce and Separation, Division of property.  Statute, Construction.       Complaint for divorce filed in the Essex Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on August 6, 2012.   The case was heard by Randy J. Kaplan, J.     Patricia S. Johnstone for the husband. Monique Boucher Lamb for the wife.      WOLOHOJIAN, J.  The question we consider is whether the definition of the phrase “length of the marriage” contained in G. L. c. 208, § 48, inserted by St. 2011, c. 124, § 3, which was adopted as part of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, applies to that phrase as it is used in G. L. c. 208, § 34, which pertains to the division of marital assets.  We conclude that it does not. The facts are uncontested and the legal issue is discrete.  The parties were married on October 5, 1985, and the wife was served with a complaint for divorce on August 29, 2012.  Between August 29, 2012, and September 30, 2013, the husband earned approximately $ 96,000 as a result of working overtime as a National Grid lineman during a period of unusually severe weather.  On September 30, 2013, the parties entered into a separation agreement that resolved all issues except how to divide those earnings.  Relying on the § 48 definition of “length of the marriage” as “the number of months from the date of legal marriage to the date of service of a complaint or petition for divorce or separate support,” the husband took the position that the funds were not part of the marital estate because they had been earned after service of the divorce complaint.  The wife took the position that the money was part of the marital estate and that she was entitled to one-half, that being essentially the division of assets to which the parties otherwise agreed.[1]  Judgment of divorce nisi entered that same day, with the judge reserving until later the issue of the disputed funds.  After subsequent briefing and argument, the judge held that the marital assets were to be determined as of the date of the parties’ separation agreement, not the date of service of the complaint.  A supplemental judgment of divorce nisi entered […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm

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