Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Re Marriage of Janes (Cal. Ct. App. - May 23, 2017)

I think this is a darn good -- and equitable -- opinion by Justice Miller.  The separation agreement was signed in 2010 that says that Wife was entitled to $112,000 of Husband's 401(k) account.  That in turn means that Wife's entitled to that amount in 2014, plus whatever gains (or losses) transpired on those funds.  (As it turns out, gains.)  Because, as of 2010, it was her money.

I also thought the Court of Appeal was right that the relevant date was (probably) the date the agreement was signed, not the date of separation.  That too follows from the analysis.

So good job of the trial court changing its mind on the merits from its initial view.  And good job of the Court of Appeal affirming the correct part of what transpired below (the gains) but reversing the wrong part (the date).

I'd only make one change in the opinion, and it's an admittedly minor one.  Page 10, first paragraph:  "The instant case is distinguishable from Thorne. Wife is seeking the same amount of principle that was awarded to her on April 19—$113,392 of the 401(k) account. In Thorne, the wife was seeking to change the amount of principle she received."

I think those two words should be "principal", not -le.

But otherwise great.