Laws v. Laws, No. 21463

Docket NºNo. 21463
Citation164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632
Case DateOctober 23, 1967
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 632

432 P.2d 632
164 Colo. 80
Robert C. LAWS, Plaintiff in Error,
v.
Mary L. LAWS, Defendant in Error.
No. 21463.
Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc.
Oct. 23, 1967.

[164 Colo. 81]

Page 633

Sherman & Glaston, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

[164 Colo. 82] George T. Ashen, Denver, for defendant in error.

McWILLIAMS, Justice.

This writ of error stems from a divorce proceeding and concerns the propriety of the trial court's order concerning alimony, division of property and attorney's fees.

Mary Laws obtained a decree in divorce from her husband, Robert Laws. Thereafter, pursuant to R.C.P. Colo. 53, the trial court with the consent of counsel appointed a master to hear evidence pertaining to the unresolved issues of alimony, division of property and attorney's fees, and to then make written findings of fact and conclusions of law relative thereto. The master held a two day hearing on the matters thus referred to him and in due time filed a written report with the trial court. The trial court adopted the master's report 'in full,' and added an extra nail by stating that 'each and every recommendation shall be the order of the court.' Judgment to such effect was duly made a matter of record, and by this writ of error Robert now seeks reversal of the judgment thus entered.

Robert complains about the judgment entered against him in the following particulars:

1. the order that he pay Mary as permanent alimony the sum of $100 per month;

2. the order that he pay Mary's attorney as attorney's fees the sum of $500, which sum was in addition to the sum of $175 which he had theretofore previously paid as partial payment on any attorney's fees ultimately awarded;

3. the order that he make his two children the 'irrevocable beneficiaries' of his insurance to the extent of at least $10,000 each during their minority; and

[164 Colo. 83] 4. the order dividing the property of the parties, particularly insofar as such relates to the moneys derived from the sale of the family home and the disposition of certain household furnishings.

Some background information and discussion is now deemed necessary if there is to be any real understanding of the controversy. Mary's marriage to Robert was her second, her first husband, a professional pilot, having been killed in a plane crash. From this first marriage Mary had five children. Mary's marriage to Robert was of some three and one-half years duration, and from this union two children were born.

Both Mary and Robert brought to their marriage certain items of property. By way of employment, Robert was himself a professional pilot for a commercial airline. His gross salary was about $1,500 per month and his take-home salary was reported to be approximately $1,000 per month.

In her complaint Mary alleged that Robert stood In loco parentis to the five children of her First marriage, and she sought to compel him to support all seven of her children. The master refused to recommend the entry of any such an all-inclusive support order, and concluded that on the contrary Robert need only support the two children which he had himself fathered. In this regard the master determined that a fair and equitable support order would be that Robert pay the sum of $90 per month for each of his two children. As already noted, the trial court approved the master's report In toto. Neither Robert nor Mary makes

Page 634

any complaint about the support order thus entered by the trial court, but reference thereto is made in order that even the casual reader may get a glimpse of the entire picture. So much for a recital of the facts.

Our study of the matter leads us to conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed in all particulars, save and except as to that phase of the order which relates to the insurance policies and provides[164 Colo. 84] that the two minor children during their minority are to be 'irrevocable beneficiaries' to the extent of $10,000 each. Let us consider, though, each of the matters here urged by Robert.

As concerns the alimony award, Robert's complaint is not so much to the dollar amount awarded Mary by the trial court, but primarily is directed to the fact that the trial court did not see fit to Limit the period of time that Robert should pay such alimony to say, by way of example, three years.

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15 practice notes
  • Robinson v. Coppala
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 27, 2002
    ...courts cannot require a child support obligor to obtain or maintain life insurance for the benefit of the child. See Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632, 635 (1967); Gardner v. Gardner, 264 Ga. 138, 441 S.E.2d 666, 666 (1994); Merchant v. Merchant, 130 Mich.App. 566, 343 N.W.2d 620, 62......
  • McLeod v. Provident Mut. Life Ins. Co. of Philadelphia, No. C--438
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 30, 1974
    ...insurance benefits for his minor children, as was done in this case. Ferguson v. Olmstead, 168 Colo. 374, 451 P.2d 746; Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632; Giambrocco v. Giambrocco, 161 Colo. 510, 423 P.2d In each of those cases, this Court on direct review by writ of error set aside ......
  • Kern v. Kern, No. 77-249
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 12, 1978
    ...Mich.App. 656, 215 N.W.2d 756 (Ct.App. 3d 1974); Genda v. Superior Ct., County of Pima, 103 Ariz. 240, 439 P.2d 811 (1968); Laws v. Laws, 432 P.2d 632 (Colo.1967); Miller v. Miller, 52 Cal.App.2d 443, 126 P.2d 357 (Cal.App.1942); Block v. Lieberman, 506 S.W.2d 485 (Mo.Ct.App.1974); Childers......
  • Stephanski v. Stephanski
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • November 19, 1971
    ...Allison v. Allison, Page 808 188 Kan. 593, 363 P.2d 795 (1961); Reid v. Reid, 58 Ill.App.2d 357, 208 N.E.2d 1 (1965); Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632 (1967); and Wooddy v. Wooddy, 258 Md. 224, 265 A.2d 467 (1970). It is not necessary for us to determine which line of cases should b......
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15 cases
  • Robinson v. Coppala
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 27, 2002
    ...courts cannot require a child support obligor to obtain or maintain life insurance for the benefit of the child. See Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632, 635 (1967); Gardner v. Gardner, 264 Ga. 138, 441 S.E.2d 666, 666 (1994); Merchant v. Merchant, 130 Mich.App. 566, 343 N.W.2d 620, 62......
  • McLeod v. Provident Mut. Life Ins. Co. of Philadelphia, No. C--438
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 30, 1974
    ...insurance benefits for his minor children, as was done in this case. Ferguson v. Olmstead, 168 Colo. 374, 451 P.2d 746; Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632; Giambrocco v. Giambrocco, 161 Colo. 510, 423 P.2d In each of those cases, this Court on direct review by writ of error set aside ......
  • Kern v. Kern, No. 77-249
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 12, 1978
    ...Mich.App. 656, 215 N.W.2d 756 (Ct.App. 3d 1974); Genda v. Superior Ct., County of Pima, 103 Ariz. 240, 439 P.2d 811 (1968); Laws v. Laws, 432 P.2d 632 (Colo.1967); Miller v. Miller, 52 Cal.App.2d 443, 126 P.2d 357 (Cal.App.1942); Block v. Lieberman, 506 S.W.2d 485 (Mo.Ct.App.1974); Childers......
  • Sunderwirth v. Williams, No. 10324
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 11, 1977
    ...been held to bar an order requiring a noncustodial father to insure his life for the benefit of his children. See, e. g., Laws v. Laws, 164 Colo. 80, 432 P.2d 632, 635 (4-6) (banc 1967); Riser v. Riser, 7 Wash.App. Page 895 647, 501 P.2d 1069 (1972). On the other hand, there is authority th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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