Golden v. Golden

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtKINGSLEY; JEFFERSON, Acting P.J., and DUNN
Citation75 Cal.Rptr. 735,270 Cal.App.2d 401
PartiesMalcolm G. GOLDEN, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Sheila Mariene GOLDEN, Defendant and Respondent. Civ. 32529, 34291.
Decision Date05 March 1969

Page 735

75 Cal.Rptr. 735
270 Cal.App.2d 401
Malcolm G. GOLDEN, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
Sheila Mariene GOLDEN, Defendant and Respondent.
Civ. 32529, 34291.
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California.
March 5, 1969.
Rehearing Denied March 19, 1969.
Hearing Denied April 30, 1969.

Page 736

[270 Cal.App.2d 403] Brown & Caplow, and Sheldon R. Caplow, Beverly Hills, for plaintiff and appellant.

Maiden & Rosenbloom, Selvin & Cohen, Hubert Maiden, Michael B. Spizer, and Paul P. Selvin, Los Angeles, for defendant and respondent.

[270 Cal.App.2d 404] KINGSLEY, Associate Justice.

This is an appeal by the plaintiff husband from an interlocutory decree of divorce. The interlocutory decree was entered March 24, 1967, notice of appeal was filed May 15, 1967, and an order was subsequently entered August 3, 1967, granting in part, and denying in part, defendant's motion to stay execution, awarding defendant wife temporary alimony and child support during pendency of the appeal and attorney fees and costs. On August 24, 1967, defendant appealed from that order. The appeals were consolidated. Plaintiff's brief

Page 737

does not discuss the August 3, 1967 order, and we deem it abandoned. 1

Plaintiff and defendant had a marriage totaling six years and eleven months. The issue of the marriage are one six year old child and a one year old child.

Plaintiff is a 31 year old doctor, and defendant is a 29 year old housewife. Defendant had worked in 1959 as a teacher, earning $4,300 a year gross salary.

Each party was granted a divorce from the other on the grounds of extreme cruelty. The court granted alimony to defendant in the sum of $750 a month, to terminate in seven years or sooner if defendant dies or remarries. The plaintiff husband was ordered to pay the wife's attorney's fees, totaling $4,000, in monthly amounts of $300. Plaintiff husband was ordered to pay $500 a month for child support. The court made an elaborate division of the community assets, which it valued at $87,377.75, including an allocation of $32,500 for the good will of the husband's practice. The decree awarded that good will to the husband but required him to make to the wife certain immediate cash payments and to pay her $300 per month until she had received her one-half of the total assets (including the good will).

I

Plaintiff husband asserts that the trial court erred in finding good will of plaintiff's practice to be an asset of the [270 Cal.App.2d 405] community. In Lyon v. Lyon (1966) 246 Cal.App.2d 519, 54 Cal.Rptr. 829, the court held that, upon the dissolution of a law partnership, no allowance could be made for good will because the reputation of the firm depends on the skill of each member. In tax cases it has also been held that good will is not a deductible item in the computation of the taxpayer's net income because its tangibility and its value exist only to the extent that such tangibility and such value are connected with a going business. (Dodge Bros. v. United States (4 Cir. 1941) 118 F.2d 95, 100.)

Several cases, however, have language to the contrary. In Brawman v. Brawman (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 876, 882, 19 Cal.Rptr. 106, a divorce case, the lower court placed no valuation on accounts receivable and good will. The appellate court stated that a professional business practice is community property. In Mueller v. Mueller (1956) 144 Cal.App.2d 245, 301 P.2d 90, the husband operated a dental laboratory business and the court found that this business did not involve the personal skill or ability of the husband. However, there is dicta in Mueller that states that, under the better rule, saleable good will exists in a professional practice or business founded on personal skill and reputation. Similarly, in Fritschi v. Teed (1963) 213 Cal.App.2d 718, 726, 29 Cal.Rptr. 114, the court said that, on dissolution of the community, a professional man's practice must be taken into account for evaluating the community estate for divorce purposes.

We believe the better rule is that, in a divorce case, the good will of the husband's professional practice as a sole practitioner should be taken into consideration in determining the award to the...

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44 practice notes
  • Marriage of Sullivan, In re
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 2, 1982
    ...has been built up during the marriage. (In re Marriage of Mueller (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 66, 137 Cal.Rptr. 129; Golden v. Golden (1969) 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. In the earlier case of Brawman v. Brawman (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 876, 882, 19 Cal.Rptr. 106, the court held that on divorce a......
  • In re the Marriage of Tracy J. Mcreath, No. 2009AP639.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2011
    ...e.g., id. at 347–49, 309 N.W.2d 343; Peerenboom v. Peerenboom, 147 Wis.2d 547, 550–52, 433 N.W.2d 282 (Ct.App.1988); Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735, 737–38 (1969); Christopher A. Tiso, Present Positions on Professional Goodwill: More Focus or Simply More Hocus Pocus?......
  • Sorensen v. Sorensen, No. 870102-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Utah
    • February 10, 1989
    ...Finally, relying on Mueller and Brawman, the Second District Court of Appeal explicitly embraced the doctrine in Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735 (1969), and stated the following [I]n a divorce case, the good will of the husband's professional practice as a sole practi......
  • May v. May, No. 31123.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 10, 2003
    ...underlying rationale for the position taken by Poore and the courts that follow its position was succinctly stated in Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735 [I]n a divorce case, the good will of the husband's professional practice as a sole practitioner should be taken into ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • Marriage of Sullivan, In re
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 2, 1982
    ...has been built up during the marriage. (In re Marriage of Mueller (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 66, 137 Cal.Rptr. 129; Golden v. Golden (1969) 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. In the earlier case of Brawman v. Brawman (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 876, 882, 19 Cal.Rptr. 106, the court held that on divorce a......
  • In re the Marriage of Tracy J. Mcreath, No. 2009AP639.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2011
    ...e.g., id. at 347–49, 309 N.W.2d 343; Peerenboom v. Peerenboom, 147 Wis.2d 547, 550–52, 433 N.W.2d 282 (Ct.App.1988); Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735, 737–38 (1969); Christopher A. Tiso, Present Positions on Professional Goodwill: More Focus or Simply More Hocus Pocus?......
  • Sorensen v. Sorensen, No. 870102-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Utah
    • February 10, 1989
    ...Finally, relying on Mueller and Brawman, the Second District Court of Appeal explicitly embraced the doctrine in Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735 (1969), and stated the following [I]n a divorce case, the good will of the husband's professional practice as a sole practi......
  • May v. May, No. 31123.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 10, 2003
    ...underlying rationale for the position taken by Poore and the courts that follow its position was succinctly stated in Golden v. Golden, 270 Cal.App.2d 401, 75 Cal.Rptr. 735 [I]n a divorce case, the good will of the husband's professional practice as a sole practitioner should be taken into ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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