672 P.2d 1168 (Okla. 1983), 57996, Tice v. Tice

Docket Nº:57996.
Citation:672 P.2d 1168
Party Name:Evalyn TICE, Appellee, v. Charles W. TICE, Appellant.
Case Date:November 22, 1983
Court:Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Page 1168

672 P.2d 1168 (Okla. 1983)

Evalyn TICE, Appellee,


Charles W. TICE, Appellant.

No. 57996.

Supreme Court of Oklahoma.

November 22, 1983.

Page 1169

Appeal from the District Court of Carter County; Woodrow George, judge.

Appellant-husband appeals the award of $41,900 to the appellee-wife as lost alimony under a previous divorce decree.

James O. Braly, Durant, for appellee.

Mordy, Clark & Hester, Inc. by James A. Clark, Ardmore, for appellant.

HODGES, Justice.

The question presented is whether a person, who induces another to marry by the oral promise to reimburse any lost alimony in the event of a subsequent divorce, is liable to pay alimony awarded under a previous divorce decree.

Evalyn (appellee-wife) and Charles Tice (appellant-husband) were married in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 31, 1979. Previously, Evalyn had received an alimony award from her first husband in the amount of $72,000.00. The divorce decree provided that the alimony would terminate upon her death or remarriage. At the time of her marriage to Charles, there was $44,500.00 remaining to be paid. On July 18, 1980, Evalyn filed a divorce petition, alleging

Page 1170

that Charles had orally agreed to indemnify her for the alimony which she would lose as a result of their marriage; and, that this promise was made as an inducement for the marriage. The trial court severed the two causes of action. A divorce was granted, and the action based on the indemnification agreement was set for jury trial which was waived by Evalyn. The trial judge made factual findings that: as an inducement to marriage Charles promised to indemnify Evalyn; in reliance upon this promise Evalyn promised to marry him; and that Charles did not intend to fulfill his promise.

The facts were disputed. According to Evalyn, numerous proposals of marriage were made to her before she accepted. Confronted with the forfeiture of her right to the alimony payments from her former husband, she told Charles the latter part of October, 1979, that she "couldn't afford to give up" her alimony. Charles assured her that he could make her a "good living" and that she would not need the alimony. Evalyn responded that if the marriage did not work out, she could not live on her salary as a secretary. Evalyn testified that Charles told her son that he bought a Mark V to match Evalyn's coloring, and that he would give it to her if she married him. She told Charles the certainty of forfeiting the right to alimony was the only reason she would not accept his proposal. Charles told her he would put $45,000.00 in escrow, the amount which she would have received had she not remarried. Evalyn testified that this was the only reason she married Charles.

Charles denied that he had ever promised to indemnify Evalyn for any loss resulting from the marriage. His testimony was...

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