Hough v. Hough, No. 2117

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtSHAW
Citation312 S.C. 344,440 S.E.2d 387
PartiesKay Hilton HOUGH, Respondent, v. Robert Lester HOUGH, Jr., and June Hough, Defendants, of whom Robert Lester Hough, Jr., is Primary Appellant and June Hough is Secondary Appellant. . Heard
Decision Date09 December 1993
Docket NumberNo. 2117

Page 387

440 S.E.2d 387
312 S.C. 344
Kay Hilton HOUGH, Respondent,
v.
Robert Lester HOUGH, Jr., and June Hough, Defendants,
of whom Robert Lester Hough, Jr., is Primary Appellant
and June Hough is Secondary Appellant.
No. 2117.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard Dec. 9, 1993.
Decided Jan. 17, 1994.

[312 S.C. 345] Michael L. Brown, Jr.; William H. Godbold, III; Charles M. Blackwell; and Charles H. Chiles, Rock Hill, for appellants.

Peter M. Perrill and Thomas F. McDow, Rock Hill, for respondent.

SHAW, Judge:

The wife, Kay Hilton Hough, brought an action for divorce, and the husband, Robert Lester Hough, Jr., counterclaimed for divorce on the ground of adultery. From the court's order of divorce, the husband appeals the award of attorneys' fees, as well as the valuation, distribution and division of the marital estate. The husband's mother, June Hough, appeals the court's determination

Page 388

that the marital home titled in her name was marital property. We affirm as modified.

The husband and wife were married in 1984, and had two children, Robert Lester Hough, III, born December 17, 1984, and John Tyler Hough, born June 30, 1988. The wife has experienced extreme emotional and psychological difficulties requiring hospitalization at times, and admitted having an extra-marital affair.

The trial court granted the husband a divorce on the ground of adultery, awarded custody of the children to the husband's mother, with visitation to the wife, awarded the wife 40% of the marital estate and the husband 60%, and awarded the wife attorneys' fees.

The trial judge concluded the marital home, although titled in the name of the husband's mother, was actually marital property. He awarded the marital business, a Nissan automobile, the marital home, and the husband's jewelry to the husband. He awarded a Cadillac automobile and the wife's jewelry to the wife. He placed no value on the husband's or wife's jewelry nor on the household goods, but ordered the "unappraised assets shall be appraised within 10 days of the Decree and if the parties have not resolved the distribution of these assets within 30 days, this Court will." He further ordered the [312 S.C. 346] husband to make up the difference in cash within 30 days to effectuate a 40% award for the wife. Two months later in a subsequent order, the trial judge valued the wife's jewelry in the husband's possession at $7,040 and a doll collection at $8,139. He ordered the husband to return the wife's jewelry in his possession or pay its value to the wife, but awarded the husband the doll collection. Because the values and distribution of the household goods were still unresolved, the trial judge ordered them sold at public auction with 60% of the proceeds going to the husband and 40% to the wife.

I.

On appeal, the Husband argues the court erred in awarding attorneys' fees, essentially because the wife did not obtain beneficial results. We disagree.

The trial court made extensive findings on this issue and determined the fees requested were reasonable, the wife could not afford to pay her fees, the wife obtained beneficial results on equitable apportionment issues and visitation, and she did not contest issues upon which she was not entitled to relief. The court considered the appropriate factors, and we see no abuse of discretion. See Glasscock v. Glasscock, 304 S.C. 158, 403 S.E.2d 313 (1991), 1 see also Stevenson v. Stevenson, 295 S.C. 412, 368 S.E.2d 901 (1988) (attorney fees are in the sound discretion of the family court and will not be disturbed absent abuse of discretion).

II.

The husband next argues the court erred in its distribution of the marital estate. He claims the court should have attempted an "in kind" distribution of the assets instead of awarding the husband virtually all of the property and ordering him to pay the wife her share in cash. The trial court should effectuate an "in kind" distribution of marital property where possible. Donahue v. Donahue, 299 S.C. 353, 384 S.E.2d 741 (1989). However, under the circumstances of [312 S.C. 347] this case in which the marital home is situated across from the husband's parents' home, and the jewelry business is operated by the husband 2, we see no abuse of discretion in the court's decision not to effectuate an "in kind" distribution of the major marital assets. See Morris v. Morris, 295 S.C. 37, 367 S.E.2d 24 (1988) (equitable distribution of marital property is within the discretion of the trial court).

III.

The husband also argues the court erred in its valuation and distribution of the

Page 389

marital estate. Specifically, he contends the court failed to value and distribute the wife's jewelry, his jewelry, and the household goods. We note that the court did value the wife's jewelry in the husband's possession, ordering the husband to return the wife's jewelry or pay her $7,040. In doing so, he clearly accepted the valuation of this personal property as submitted by the wife. This valuation was part of a total valuation of the wife's jewelry, including that which she had in her possession. The remainder of the wife's jewelry in her possession was valued at $2,875 and we therefore accept this figure for purposes of determining equitable distribution there being no valuation to the contrary submitted by the husband. As to the husband's jewelry, the record also reflects the wife submitted a similar list of his jewelry and valuations. The husband offered no valuations to the contrary and disputed only whether 5 of the items were marital property. Excluding the 5 items from the list, we find the value of this property to be $8,075. Finally, as to the...

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20 practice notes
  • Lewis v. Lewis, No. 26973.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 9, 2011
    ...S.C. 456, 458, 357 S.E.2d 191, 192 (Ct.App.1987) (citing Cox v. Cox, 290 S.C. 245, 349 S.E.2d 92 (Ct.App.1986)); see also Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 440 S.E.2d 387 (Ct.App.1994); Hudson v. Hudson, 294 S.C. 166, 363 S.E.2d 387 (Ct.App.1987). Because Respondent has failed [392 S.C. 394] to......
  • Dept. of Transp. v. M & T Ent., No. 4435.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 12, 2008
    ...Tenant the sum of $81, 400, the amount testified to by Tenant's expert and the only figure supported in the record. See Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 440 S.E.2d 387 (1994) (finding a party cannot complain about the valuation of an asset by a court where the party fails to present any eviden......
  • Simpson v. Simpson, Appellate Case No. 2011–196348.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 8, 2013
    ...been joined in the action, then the family court has the authority to determine the parties' equitable rights therein); Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 351, 440 S.E.2d 387, 391 (Ct.App.1994) (rejecting husband's mother's argument that marital home titled in her name was not marital property [......
  • Funderburk v. Funderburk, 2018-001173
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 8, 2021
    ...testimony the accounts were marital, and the family court did not err in finding the investment accounts were marital. See Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 347, 440 S.E.2d 387, 388-89 (Ct. App. 1994) (holding a party who failed to present any evidence on the issue of the value of the marital e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Lewis v. Lewis, No. 26973.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 9, 2011
    ...S.C. 456, 458, 357 S.E.2d 191, 192 (Ct.App.1987) (citing Cox v. Cox, 290 S.C. 245, 349 S.E.2d 92 (Ct.App.1986)); see also Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 440 S.E.2d 387 (Ct.App.1994); Hudson v. Hudson, 294 S.C. 166, 363 S.E.2d 387 (Ct.App.1987). Because Respondent has failed [392 S.C. 394] to......
  • Dept. of Transp. v. M & T Ent., No. 4435.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 12, 2008
    ...Tenant the sum of $81, 400, the amount testified to by Tenant's expert and the only figure supported in the record. See Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 440 S.E.2d 387 (1994) (finding a party cannot complain about the valuation of an asset by a court where the party fails to present any eviden......
  • Simpson v. Simpson, Appellate Case No. 2011–196348.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 8, 2013
    ...been joined in the action, then the family court has the authority to determine the parties' equitable rights therein); Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 351, 440 S.E.2d 387, 391 (Ct.App.1994) (rejecting husband's mother's argument that marital home titled in her name was not marital property [......
  • Funderburk v. Funderburk, 2018-001173
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 8, 2021
    ...testimony the accounts were marital, and the family court did not err in finding the investment accounts were marital. See Hough v. Hough, 312 S.C. 344, 347, 440 S.E.2d 387, 388-89 (Ct. App. 1994) (holding a party who failed to present any evidence on the issue of the value of the marital e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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