Hamilton v. Hamilton

Decision Date17 May 2000
Citation758 So.2d 1213
Parties(Fla.App. 4 Dist. 2000) BARBARA HAMILTON, Appellant, v. THOMAS HAMILTON, Appellee. NO. 4D99-2479
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Linda Vitale, Judge; L.T. Case No. 98-15487 (39) (91).

John G. Jordan, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

Timothy L. Bailey of Sullivan, Bailey and Bailey, P.A., Pompano Beach, for appellee.

GROSS, J.

The primary issue in this case is whether a house and $100,000 which were bequeathed by a parishioner to the husband, a clergyman, are non-marital property within the meaning of section 61.075(5)(b)2., Florida Statutes (1999).

The parties were married for 42 years. At the time of the divorce, the husband was a diaconal minister, whose job included Christian education programming, evangelism, and church growth. He presided at weddings and funerals, and visited parishioners in their homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. The husband's annual income was approximately $49,000. Additionally, the church paid for his home, utilities, and medical benefits.

The husband met Theresa Powell through the church between 1969-1974. The husband was her "[p]astor and friend." To some extent, he was her confidant. The husband thought Powell regarded him like a son. He made doctor's appointments for her and transported her to and from these appointments. Powell had no relatives. During Hurricane Andrew, Powell stayed with the husband and wife. While Powell was there, the wife assisted in her care. The wife testified that she first met Powell in 1969 or 1970 and that she took her to two doctor's appointments.

Powell died in 1995. In her will, she left her house and approximately $100,000 to the husband. She left nothing to the church or the wife. The husband received title to Powell's house. He also received payments from the Theresa Powell Trust: a 1996 payment was $20,000; a 1997 payment was $25,000; and a 1998 payment was $25,000. He anticipated receiving two more payments of about $25,000 in October, 1999 and October, 2000. The 1996 and 1997 payments were deposited by husband into a bank account in his name only. He used some of that money to pay marital bills. With the 1998 payment, the husband set up a certificate of deposit titled in his name and the name of his sons.

Throughout the marriage, the wife supported her husband's ministry. She was a lay pastor, which meant that she was a "leader of the bible study group" and was "required by the pastor to attend a monthly training meeting." She attended church social events with her husband, prepared and opened their house to the church meetings, cleaned up afterward, and made sure her husband's clothes were washed and ironed. Since 1983, she worked as a teaching assistant at the school associated with the church. Starting in the fall of 1999, the wife's salary from the church was to be $17,000 per year.

The wife presented evidence at trial that showed that she and her husband typically assisted the elderly beyond their spiritual needs, by taking them to personal and medical appointments and assisting them with their personal business.

The wife...

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4 cases
  • MONDELLO v. TORRES
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 17, 2010
    ...does not convert the remaining non-marital funds into a marital asset.” Lakin, 901 So.2d at 191; see also Hamilton v. Hamilton, 758 So.2d 1213, 1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (money that husband inherited retained its non-marital status when he placed funds into a separate account, even though he......
  • Mondello v. Torres
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • July 21, 2010
    ...does not convert the remaining non-marital funds into a marital asset." Lakin, 901 So. 2d at 191; see also Hamilton v. Hamilton, 758 So. 2d 1213, 1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (money that husband inherited retained its non-marital status when he placed funds into a separate account, even though ......
  • Grieco v. Grieco
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • January 13, 2006
    ...does not convert the remaining non-marital funds into a marital asset." Lakin, 901 So.2d at 191; see also Hamilton v. Hamilton, 758 So.2d 1213, 1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000). At most, only the portion of funds the Wife withdrew for marital use lost their nonmarital character. See Pinder v. Pinde......
  • Lakin v. Lakin, 4D04-826.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • March 23, 2005
    ...non-marital funds to pay marital expenses does not convert the remaining non-marital funds into a marital asset. See Hamilton v. Hamilton, 758 So.2d 1213 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (cash that husband received from an inheritance retained its non-marital status when he placed funds into a separate ......
2 books & journal articles
  • Equitable distribution and property issues
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Family Law and Practice - Volume 1
    • April 30, 2022
    ...court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate or distribute assets or property rights of nonparty partnership); Hamilton v. Hamilton, 758 So. 2d 1213 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (husband, clergyman who inherited money and home from parishioner, use of inherited money to pay marital bills does not c......
  • § 6.03 Inherited Property
    • United States
    • Full Court Press Divorce, Separation and the Distribution of Property Title CHAPTER 6 Types of Property That Frequently Are Designated Separate Property by Statute
    • Invalid date
    ...44 Cal. App.2d 334, 210 P.2d 707 (1949). Washington: Andrews v. Andrews, 116 Wash. 513, 199 Pac. 981 (1921). [123] Hamilton v. Hamilton 758 So.2d 1213, 26 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1366 (Fla. App. 2000).[124] See: California: In re estate of Clark, 94 Cal. App. 453, 271 P. 542 (1928). ' Pennsylvan......

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