Buchanan v. Buchanan, No. 7306

Docket NºNo. 7306
Citation523 P.2d 1, 90 Nev. 209
Case DateJune 05, 1974
CourtSupreme Court of Nevada

Page 1

523 P.2d 1
90 Nev. 209
Denyse Diane BUCHANAN, Appellant,
v.
James L. BUCHANAN, II, Respondent.
No. 7306.
Supreme Court of Nevada.
June 5, 1974.

Page 2

Wiener, Goldwater & Galatz, Las Vegas, for appellant.

Douglas Joe Shoemaker, Brennan & Shoemaker, Las Vegas, for respondent.

[90 Nev. 210] OPINION

MANOUKIAN, District Judge: 1

The parties, married May 20, 1967, are parents of twin girls, [90 Nev. 211] who were approximately 2 1/2 years of age when appellant, alleging incompatibility, initiated this action for divorce in October, 1971.

On January 31, 1973, the trial court granted appellant the divorce, custody of the twins, divided property of the parties, ordered respondent to pay $150.00 per month per child for their support, and specifically ruled that respondent was 'not obligated to pay (appellant) any sum whatsoever as and for her support.'

Only the amount of child support and the refusal of the trial court to award alimony are contested in this appeal.

In her first assignment of error, appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion of allowing only $150.00 per month, per child, for their support and, secondly urges that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to allow her alimony.

As we understand appellant's position, she does not seriously contend that the judgment below is not supported by substantial evidence. Instead, it is strongly urged there was a showing of absolute unfairness because 'the trial court violated the spirit of NRS 125.140(1) and (NRS) 125.150(1).' We are not inclined to this view.

1. The trial court in providing for child support, did so in exercise of discretionary powers conferred upon it by NRS 125.140(1). 2 The question then, is what is a proper sum to require the father to contribute for the support of his children under existing conditions? This requires an answer to two subordinate questions: (1) what does the child reasonably require to maintain its standard of living?; and, (2) what can the father reasonably afford to pay? At trial, appellant's counsel inquired of appellant whether her exhibit one (1) accurately reflected the expenditures she incurred during the effective period of the order on preliminary allowances, namely September, October and November of 1972. Appellant answered in the affirmative, pointing out that clothing and perhaps some other miscellaneous items of expense were

Page 3

not included [90 Nev. 212] therein. 3 In reviewing the exhibit it appears that the trial court made a reasonable determination in awarding child support in light of the expense allocations as and for said children set forth in the exhibit.

In considering respondent's ability to contribute, the record reflects that in 1969 he had a taxable income of less than $5,000.00; 1970, some $12,000.00; and, in 1971, the approximate sum of $23,000.00. For the year 1972, before the payment of taxes, his income was approximately $52,000.00 from the practice of law, and $18,990.00 from the sale of an interest in real property. The record also shows that 1972 was an exceptional year due to respondent's receipt of two major, or extraordinary, attorney's fees. It was further demonstrated the respondent's gross earnings for 1973 would be approximately $48,000.00, before income taxes and expenses; that he pays $339.00 per month for the house payment, plus utilities; $50.00 per month to keep, or maintain, two horses; a car lease installment of $213.00 per month; that he had other loan payments in the vicinity of $1,000.00 per month; that he pays $200.00 to $300.00 monthly on various community accounts; that his other fixed expenses (excluding his law office), amounted to several hundred dollars per month for rental real property payments; $192.00 per month for electricity, maid, water, garbage and related expenses; $100.00 to $125.00 per [90 Nev. 213] month on other accumulated bills, and that he had an approximate $10,000.00 liability on debts of a closed business. These obligations approximate a $2,500.00 monthly expense.

In Atkins v. Atkins, 50 Nev. 333, 259 P. 288 (1927), there was an agreement between the parties that there would be no reference to child support, and the mother in fact declined support. The court nonetheless awarded child support and the husband appealed, arguing that the trial was without jurisdiction to award child support in light of the understanding and agreement between the parties. This court, in approving the trial court's determination, relied on Rev.Laws 5840, § 24, which is identical to NRS 125.140(1), saying: 'The basis of the power conferred on the court by this statute to exercise a broad discretion as to custody and support, lies in the reason that it is not the rights of the parties which are to be determined, but the best interests of the child. This is universally held to be of paramount consideration, and arises

Page 4

from state's interest in the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
29 practice notes
  • Kogod v. Cioffi-Kogod, No. 71147
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • April 25, 2019
    ...NRS 125.150(1)(a). The decision of whether to award alimony is within the discretion of the district court. Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 215, 523 P.2d 1, 5 (1974) ("In determining whether alimony should be paid, as well as the amount thereof, courts are vested with a wide range o......
  • Cavell v. Cavell, No. 7248
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • September 13, 1974
    ...without an appearance by one of the parties. 3 As this court has said on numerous occasions, the latest being Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 523 P.2d 1 (1974), we will not disturb the lower court's ruling when the record contains evidence supporting the court's ruling. The trial court i......
  • Ford v. Ford, No. 18941
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • November 27, 1989
    ...in awarding or refusing to award alimony. Forrest v. Forrest, 99 Nev. 602, 606, 668 P.2d 275, 278 (1983). In Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 215, 523 P.2d 1, 5 (1974), this court provided an inexhaustive list of factors, such as the financial condition of the parties, which the district ......
  • Braddock v. Braddock, Nos. 7740
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • November 21, 1975
    ...to the matter and exercised its power to provide for the wife's support pursuant to NRS 125.150(3). 3 Cf. Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 523 P.2d 1 4. Appellant's contention that the trial court erred in awarding respondent attorney fees in the amount of $7,500 is without merit. A distr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Kogod v. Cioffi-Kogod, No. 71147
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • April 25, 2019
    ...NRS 125.150(1)(a). The decision of whether to award alimony is within the discretion of the district court. Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 215, 523 P.2d 1, 5 (1974) ("In determining whether alimony should be paid, as well as the amount thereof, courts are vested with a wide range o......
  • Cavell v. Cavell, No. 7248
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • September 13, 1974
    ...without an appearance by one of the parties. 3 As this court has said on numerous occasions, the latest being Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 523 P.2d 1 (1974), we will not disturb the lower court's ruling when the record contains evidence supporting the court's ruling. The trial court i......
  • Ford v. Ford, No. 18941
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • November 27, 1989
    ...in awarding or refusing to award alimony. Forrest v. Forrest, 99 Nev. 602, 606, 668 P.2d 275, 278 (1983). In Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 215, 523 P.2d 1, 5 (1974), this court provided an inexhaustive list of factors, such as the financial condition of the parties, which the district ......
  • Braddock v. Braddock, Nos. 7740
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • November 21, 1975
    ...to the matter and exercised its power to provide for the wife's support pursuant to NRS 125.150(3). 3 Cf. Buchanan v. Buchanan, 90 Nev. 209, 523 P.2d 1 4. Appellant's contention that the trial court erred in awarding respondent attorney fees in the amount of $7,500 is without merit. A distr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT