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Court erred in rounding equalization award up when dividing couple's property

After remand, the court held that the trial court did not err by finding that an investment account awarded to the plaintiff-ex-wife was separate property, but did err by rounding her equalization award to $210,000. Thus, it vacated the award and remanded for the trial court to enter an order awarding plaintiff an equalization award of $208,008. In its judgment of divorce, the trial court divided the parties' property. In his first appeal, defendant-ex-husband claimed that plaintiff retained an investment account, valued at $70,179, which resulted in an inequitable distribution of the marital estate. The court remanded for further findings because the trial court did not reference the account in its oral opinion and did not indicate whether it considered the account to be marital or separate property. On remand, the trial court explained that the account was awarded to plaintiff as separate property and was not part of the marital estate. Thus, in defendant's second appeal, the court rejected his contention that plaintiff's retention of the account resulted in an inequitable distribution "as it was awarded as her separate property and not distributed as part of the marital estate." However, it agreed with defendant that the trial court's ultimate distribution of the marital estate was inequitable. It noted that the trial court intended to divide the marital estate 50/50, but miscalculated the marital estate at $767,114, then rounded the payment to $210,000. "Applying the trial court's intent to divide the marital estate 50/50 to the value of the marital estate determined on remand, $763,834, an exact 50/50 division would actually result in an equalization payment of $208,008, and not the $210,000 that plaintiff was awarded." Thus, the court held that plaintiff should have been awarded an equalization payment of $208,008.


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