High-asset divorce cases can become complicated when ex-spouses tackle related issues of division of marital assets and alimony. When parties are unable to settle these matters among themselves, the family court must make the award based on evidence before it, and may not be the desired outcome of one party.
The dissatisfied party may resort to the remedy of appeal elevated to a higher court. But in certain situations, an appeal may not prosper when the appealing party has voluntarily received benefits under the appealed award. This is the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling in a recent case involving a high-asset divorce of a billionaire businessman.
The Appealed Award
The ruling stemmed from a divorce case that the billionaire’s wife filed some years back. The family court’s decision ordered the husband to convey certain pieces of real property, some bank accounts, a 401K plan, and alimony. The wife appealed the award but later on received the properties and lump sum alimony that the husband paid. It was shown that she not only accepted the conveyed property but also deposited the check for alimony.
In view of this acceptance, the Supreme Court applied the clear rule that the party who voluntarily accepted the benefits of judgment cannot question the validity of such judgment on appeal. Her acceptance resulted in the satisfaction of judgment where appeal is no longer available as a remedy.
Importance of Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a complex process governed by procedural rules. Knowledge of the pertinent rules and court decisions interpreting relevant laws and procedures are important in seeking the desired outcomes, whether for asset distribution or for alimony.
As observed in the recent Supreme Court decision, the move to accept the benefits under the current divorce award prevented the receiving party from questioning it on appeal. Any objections that the appealing party may have had against the court award could no longer be raised because the act of accepting the property conveyances was deemed as a satisfaction of judgment. The appealing party’s counsel could have advised her on the consequences of the acceptance.
If you are contemplating divorce, it’s important to engage the services of an experienced divorce attorney. Your lawyer can guide you through the entire process and provide legal advice on options available so that you can make informed decisions in every situation.
In Norman, Oklahoma, the Rick Dane Moore and Associates Law Firm, LLPC have over 30 years of divorce experience and domestic law matters. Call us today at (405) 366-0373 to arrange a free 15-minute consultation by phone.