Stayton v. Stayton

Decision Date03 March 1973
Docket NumberNo. 46820,46820
Citation506 P.2d 1172,211 Kan. 560
PartiesD. T. STAYTON, Appellee, v. Roma Mae STAYTON, Appellant.
CourtKansas Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. The district court is vested with wide discretion in adjusting the financial obligations of the parties in a divorce action and its exercise of that discretion will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of a showing of clear abuse.

2. In the exercise of his discretion a judge may not be arbitrary or whimsical. Abuse of judicial discretion, as that term is ordinarily used, implies not merely an error in judgment, but perversity of will, passion or moral delinquency when such discretion is exercised to an end or purpose not justified by, and clearly against, reason and evidence.

David H. Zook, Mission, argued the cause, and Bernis G. Terry, Olathe, was with him on the brief for appellant.

Charles D. Vincent, Kansas City, argued the cause, and Clarence R. Wietharn, Overland Park, was with him on the brief for appellee.

PRAGER, Justice:

This is an action for divorce. The plaintiff-husband, D. T. Stayton, and the defendant-wife, Roma M. Stayton, were married in 1946. At the time of the divorce in 1971 they had been married 25 years. Three children were born to the marriage who at the time of the trial were 18, 9 and 8 years of age. Both of the parties are college graduates. Mrs. Stayton is a school teacher. Mr. Stayton for a period of time served as a minister in the Nazarene Church. In 1956 he left the ministry and entered the home building industry. In the course of his business Mr. Stayton purchased land at various places in Johnson County. At the time of the trial it had greatly appreciated in value. Unreconcilable differences developed in the relationship of the parties. In 1970 Mr. Stayton filed an action for divorce against his wife. Mrs. Stayton filed an answer and cross-petition for a divorce. The case was hotly contested. The trial court made extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law and granted a decree of divorce to both parties, finding them in equal fault. Mrs. Stayton was awarded custody of the children and an order for child support was entered. The court divided the property of the parties, awarded permanent alimony to Mrs. Stayton and required Mr. Stayton to maintain life, hospitalization and medical insurance. In the final decree and in postjudgment proceedings the trial court entered various orders pertaining to attorney fees.

The facts in this case are not in dispute and neither of the parties has any quarrel with the extensive findings of fact made by the trial court. Mrs. Stayton has brought her appeal to this court contending that the trial court abused its discretion in the manner in which it divided the property, in failing to provide for the education of the children, in failing to award adequate child support and in failing to award Mrs. Stayton adequate alimony. Mrs. Stayton further complains that the trial court erred in its orders pertaining to attorney fees.

We have carefully considered the entire record in this case and we cannot see that the trial court abused its discretion in any of the particulars complained of. We do not believe that it would be of any benefit to the parties or to the bench and bar of this state to set forth with particularity the extensive findings of fact made by the trial court. We see no reason to spread for public view the parties' marital difficulities or their financial affairs. We have said many times that the district court is vested with wide discretion in adjusting the financial obligations of the parties in a divorce action and that its exercise of that discretion will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of a showing of clear...

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86 cases
  • State v. Whitesell, No. 82,610.
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • December 8, 2000
    ...of prejudice a violation may have caused the accused. State v. Aikins, 261 Kan. 346, 378, 932 P.2d 408 (1997). In Stayton v. Stayton, 211 Kan. 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973), the court "Judicial discretion is abused when judicial action is arbitrary, fanciful or unreasonable, which is anoth......
  • Southwest Kansas Royalty Owners Ass'n v. State Corp. Com'n of State of Kan.
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • January 20, 1989
    ...as arbitrary or unreasonable judicial action, such that no reasonable person could disagree as to its impropriety. Stayton v. Stayton, 211 Kan. 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973). We find no abuse of discretion by the district III. JURISDICTION (1) We next turn to multiple jurisdictional issues......
  • Evans v. Provident Life & Acc. Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • July 16, 1991
    ...saying that discretion is abused only where no reasonable person would take the view adopted by the trial court. Stayton v. Stayton, 211 Kan. 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973). Plaintiff's claim was ultimately denied by Joe Roberts, Jr., Provident's manager of the life claims department. Rober......
  • Smith v. Deppish
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • March 1, 1991
    ...fanciful, or unreasonable. Leeper v. Schroer, Rice, Bryan, & Lykins, P.A., 241 Kan. 241, 248, 736 P.2d 882 (1987); Stayton v. Stayton, 211 Kan. 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973). Judicial discretion is abused when no reasonable person would take the view adopted by the trial court. If reasonab......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Kansas State Court Appellate Standards of Review an Understanding Unblinded
    • United States
    • Kansas Bar Association KBA Bar Journal No. 62-12, December 1993
    • Invalid date
    ...461, 468, 674 P.2d 468 (1983). [FN81]. Mohr v. State Bank of Stanley, 244 Kan. 555, 568, 770 P.2d 446 (1989). [FN82]. Slayton v. Slayton, 211 Kan. 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973). [FN83]. State v. Richards, 252 Kan.872, 882, 850 P.2d 844 (1993). [FN84]. State v. Walker, 252 Kan. 279, 285, 84......
  • Wide as a Church Door, Deep as a Well: a Survey of Judicial Discretion
    • United States
    • Kansas Bar Association KBA Bar Journal No. 61-03, March 1992
    • Invalid date
    ...1. 97. [FN2]. Falls v. Scott, 249 Kan 54, syl. 5, --- P.2d ---- (1991). [FN3]. Id., syl. 4. [FN4]. Stayton v. Stayton, 211 Kan 560, 562, 506 P.2d 1172 (1973). [FN5]. State v. Mayberry, 248 Kan 369, --- P.2d ---- (1991). [FN6]. State v. Ruebke, 240 Kan 493, 731 P.2d 842 (1987). [FN7]. State ......

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