Friday, July 10, 2009

Child Support: Social Security Benefits are Not Included in Income for Child Support Calculation

Wolfe v. Wolfe
, 2009 UT App. 186 (Utah Court of Appeals Memorandum Decision July 9, 2009)

Trial court included Father's Social Security Benefits in the Child Support Calculation. The Office of Recovery Services appealed. The Court of Appeals Reversed and Remanded the case with instructions to recalculate the child support without the social security benefits.

Court Noted that U.C.A. § 78B-12-203(3)(b) also excludes Medicaid, Food Stamps, Housing Subsidies, Benefits from the Job training Partnership Act, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance and General (government assistance).

Full Decision available at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Prenuptial Agreement: Interpreted as any Other Contract

Levin v. Carlton, 2009 UT App. 170 (Utah Court of Appeals, June 25, 2009).

Trial Court found that the prenuptial agreement governed the parties' divorce. Wife appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals. She argued that the trial court's interpretation of the agreement was incorrect. The Court found that although it must look closely for abuse at the time of execution of the prenup, its means of interpreting the agreement are no different from any other contract.
Wife also appealed the trial court's narrow interpretation of Husband's earnings. Under the prenup, husband's earnings were to be community property. The prenup defined earnings as excluding income from investments. The trial court adopted the prenup' definition. The Court Affirmed.
Wife also appealed a denial of her discovery request. The trial court had found that the California law did not permit the post-separation discovery request and the prenup's had a choice of law provision choosing California law. The Court found that the prenup can even govern discovery issues during litigation and Affirmed the trial court.
Finally, Wife appealed the trial court's decision of attorney fees. The Court Affirmed the trial court both in denying her request and granting Husband's. This too was based on the prenup provision on attorney fees.

Full Decision available at

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