Hanson v. Hanson, 11993

Citation252 N.W.2d 907
Decision Date22 April 1977
Docket NumberNo. 11993,11993
PartiesBillie Joyce HANSON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Frederic A. HANSON, Defendant and Respondent.
CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota

Keith R. Smit and John H. Shepard, Morman, Smit, Shepard & Hughes, Sturgis, for plaintiff and appellant.

Thomas E. Simmons, Bangs, McCullen, Butler, Foye & Simmons, Rapid City, for defendant and respondent.

DUNN, Chief Justice.

This action for divorce was brought in December 1975, on grounds of mental cruelty. Defendant by his answer and counterclaim sought divorce on the same grounds. Trial of the matter was held on April 12, 19 and 21, 1976. A substantial portion of the trial and of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court's decision concerned the division of the couple's property. The court granted plaintiff the divorce. She appeals the court's division of the property. We reverse and remand.

The parties were married January 6, 1947. They lived with defendant's parents for several months in their home on their ranch. Plaintiff and defendant then moved to a different house elsewhere on the ranch where they lived until November 1973. In 1972, the couple bought and moved a newer house from the Rapid City flood plain to the location of defendant's parents' former home. There they lived and operated the ranch together from 1973 until the marital separation occurred.

Among several contentions made by plaintiff on appeal is her claim that the court abused its discretion in making an inequitable distribution of the property. In evaluating such a claim, we must remember that a trial court "is not bound by any mathematical formula but shall make such award from the material factors before (it) having due regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties." Kressly v. Kressly, 1958, 77 S.D. 143, 150, 87 N.W.2d 601, 605. Among the factors to be considered are "(t)he duration of the marriage, the value of the property of each, their ages, their health and competency to earn, the contribution of each to the accumulation of the property and the faults and circumstances leading up to the divorce." Kressly v. Kressly, 77 S.D. at 148, 87 N.W.2d at 603. A trial court is granted broad discretion in making a property division, Bolenbaugh v. Bolenbaugh, 1975, S.D., 237 N.W.2d 12; Pochop v. Pochop, 1975, S.D., 233 N.W.2d 806; Swenson v. Swenson, 1970, 85 S.D. 320, 181 N.W.2d 864, but must keep in mind these material factors. Tyler v. Tyler, S.D., 233 N.W.2d 804.

The court determined the value of the couple's property to be in excess of $400,000. The 1,190 acres of real estate making up the ranch were valued at $280,500, the two houses at $25,500, the machinery, livestock and grain at $50,378, and the couple's liquid assets at $47,944. The court then awarded custody of the two teenaged children to plaintiff and ordered defendant to pay $125 per month child support until the children reached eighteen or were emancipated. Plaintiff was awarded a lump sum settlement of $100,000. Forty thousand dollars of this was due upon entry of the judgment; the remaining $60,000 was due in installments of $5,000 annually without interest beginning July 1, 1977. Defendant was awarded all of the real property to enable him "to continue to operate this farm as an ongoing, economically solvent enterprise in order to support himself and provide for the children." Plaintiff was awarded a lien on the real and personal property, with any proceeds from property sold being subtracted from the $60,000 balance due her. No attempt was made to determine the present value of the $60,000 owing during the next twelve years, either by the trial court or by the parties on appeal.

The Hansons had been married twenty-eight years at the time this action was commenced. The trial testimony shows that plaintiff throughout his time helped both by working on the ranch and by contributing her outside income for the purchase of furniture and groceries and for defraying the children's expenses. Substantially all of the couple's property, both real and personal, was obtained by them during their marriage. Eight hundred seventy acres of the real estate were obtained from defendant's parents during the marriage. Defendant testified that he paid his parents $5,000 to $6,000 for a 440-acre piece of property in 1955 and his sister $5,000 for a 430-acre piece in 1959. The remaining 320 acres were purchased...

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36 cases
  • Grode v. Grode
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • October 16, 1995
    ...such award from the material factors before [it] having due regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties.' " Hanson v. Hanson, 252 N.W.2d 907, 908 (S.D.1977) (quoting Kressly v. Kressly, 77 S.D. 143, 150, 87 N.W.2d 601, 605 (1958)); SDCL 25-4-44. ¶10 The factors to be considered i......
  • Halbersma v. Halbersma
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • November 10, 2009
    ...71 (S.D.1995); Kost v. Kost, 515 N.W.2d 209, 213 (S.D.1994); Kappenmann v. Kappenmann, 479 N.W.2d 520, 524 (S.D.1992); Hanson v. Hanson, 252 N.W.2d 907, 908 (S.D.1977). We will not overturn a property division unless the circuit court abused its discretion, which occurs when a court exercis......
  • Temple v. Temple
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 23, 1984
    ...marital estate. After arriving at the net marital estate, the trial court properly considered the six factors set out in Hanson v. Hanson, 252 N.W.2d 907 (S.D.1977), in order to equitably divide the The trial court worked out an intricate plan in order to protect Pitchfork Ranch as an ongoi......
  • Priebe v. Priebe
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • September 11, 1996
    ...such award from the material factors before [it,] having due regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties.' " Hanson v. Hanson, 252 N.W.2d 907, 908 (S.D.1977) (quoting Kressly v. Kressly, 77 S.D. 143, 150, 87 N.W.2d 601, 605 (1958)); SDCL ¶12 The trial court stated that "a minorit......
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