Bugg v. Bugg, 21620

Decision Date05 January 1982
Docket NumberNo. 21620,21620
Citation277 S.C. 270,286 S.E.2d 135
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court
PartiesBernard BUGG, Respondent, v. Roger Mae BUGG, Appellant.

Joseph T. McElveen, Jr., of Bryan, Bahnmuller, King, Goldman & McElveen, Sumter, for appellant.

John O. McDougall, of Weinberg, Warner, Brown & McDougall, Sumter, for respondent.


Roger Mae Bugg (Wife) appeals from a Family Court Order following a hearing involving separate actions filed by her and by Respondent, Bernard Bugg (Husband).

That Order (1) denied Husband's request for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, 1 (2) granted Wife a $10,000 interest in the real property accumulated during marriage, (3) denied alimony for Wife, and (4) denied attorneys' fees and costs for Wife.

Wife argues that her interest in the marital property exceeded the $10,000 award. Specifically, she claims a larger equitable interest in the real property acquired during marriage and also an equitable interest in Husband's military retirement pay. The personal property was divided by agreement between the parties.

At oral arguments before this Court, counsel for Wife withdrew the claim to Husband's military retirement pay on the grounds that this claim was controlled by the recent U. S. Supreme Court decision of McCarty v. McCarty, --- U.S. ----, 101 S.Ct. 2728, 69 L.Ed.2d 589 (decided June 26, 1981). McCarty involved a marriage dissolution proceeding under California community property laws wherein the U. S. Supreme Court held that one's military retirement pay was not subject to division between the parties by the state court pursuant to the community property laws. 2 We agree that McCarty precludes Wife's claim.

Wife argues that the $10,000 equitable interest award in the marital real property, appraised at $48,000 at the time, was inadequate.

The parties were married from 1942-1977, at which time they separated following a domestic argument. Husband served in the military from 1941 until his retirement in 1962. At that time, he entered college to study accounting and graduated in 1965. In 1964, his first experience with depressive illness occurred. Since 1965, he has worked at various jobs (accountant, teacher, carpenter, purchasing agent) and, at the time of the hearing, operated a small bicycle repair shop. A psychiatrist testified that Husband will always need some treatment for his depression and is not capable of maintaining full-time employment.

Shortly after marriage, Wife terminated her employment with the Civil Service in order to raise the first of their two children. She returned to work as a secretary in 1963 and has since continued in that capacity. It was her testimony that she began work because they needed the money since both her husband and son had entered college and her husband had retired.

Based upon all the testimony, the trial judge made the following factual determination:

... [T]he wife contributed to the family circle in rearing the children of the parties, in maintaining the home and assisting the Petitioner during his military career; the Court also considered the frugal manner in which the Respondent [Wife] maintain [sic] the household and the manner in which she was a housewife and mother for thirty-seven (37) years; that she worked since approximately 1961 to obtain a better life for the family and the minor children; this Court further considered that the Respondent [Wife] did all "normal" household duties of a wife such as laundering, washing, ironing, preparation of food, etc., and that she contributed a substantial portion of her salary to maintain many of the household expenses for utilities, clothing, telephone, food household supplies and other debts; the Court further considered the monies expended by the Respondent [Wife] and the efforts that she...

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16 cases
  • Smith v. Smith
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 6, 1984
    ...Cf. Haynes v. Haynes, 279 S.C. 162, 303 S.E.2d 429 (1983); Brown v. Brown, 279 S.C. 116, 302 S.E.2d 860 (1983); Bugg v. Bugg, 277 S.C. 270, 286 S.E.2d 135 (1982); Carter v. Carter, supra. The award to the wife of a share in the husband's pension is 5. Personal Property The husband further c......
  • Watson v. Watson, 0842
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • October 15, 1986
    ...is a retirement fund established wholly by the voluntary personal contribution of the [husband]." In the cases of Bugg v. Bugg, 277 S.C. 270, 286 S.E.2d 135 (1982), Brown v. Brown, 279 S.C. 116, 302 S.E.2d 860 (1983), and Haynes v. Haynes, 279 S.C. 162, 303 S.E.2d 429 (1983), our Supreme Co......
  • Martin v. Martin
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • September 15, 1988
    ...of Marital Property Act, this state held military retirement benefits were not subject to equitable distribution. Bugg v. Bugg, 277 S.C. 270, 286 S.E.2d 135 (1982); Carter v. Carter, 277 S.C. 277, 286 S.E.2d 139 (1982) (dicta); Brown v. Brown, 279 S.C. 116, 302 S.E.2d 860 (1983); Haynes v. ......
  • Atkinson v. Atkinson, 0003
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • November 7, 1983
    ...of the marital property and the weight which the court accords those contributions. See Burgess v. Burgess, supra; Bugg v. Bugg, 277 S.C. 270, 286 S.E.2d 135 (1982); Simmons v. Simmons, 275 S.C. 41, 267 S.E.2d 427 (1980); Wilson v. Wilson, 270 S.C. 216, 241 S.E.2d 566 On remand, the lower c......
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