Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Failure to Submit to Corporate Formalities Will Subject Husband and Wife to Corporate Debt.

Olson v. Olson, UT App. 22, (Utah Court of Appeals, February 4, 2010).

When Parties divorced, they had significant business debt.  Parties had so commingled the business and personal debts and assets that the business was simply and alter ego of the parties.  The trial court divided the business debt between the parties and ordered Husband to pay wife $1000 per month after the sale of the home.  Wife appealed those issues and many others including the valuation of the marital home, and the exclusion of her expert. 

The Court of appeals declined to rule on a number of the wife’s issues because she did not adequately brief the issues; she failed to show preservation, standard of review, and failed to cite relevant authority.  

The Court of Appeals affirmed all trial court findings.  The parties business failed to be a corporation in all respects. As to alimony, the tying of alimony to the sale of the home was property and shows that she is living rent free and that when they sell the home she will have need.  The court appropriately based the valuation of the home on Husband’s testimony as a knowledgeable owner.  The trial court appropriately excluded Wife’s expert because she had not provided an expert report from him.  A trial court can strike an expert’s testimony when the proponent failed to file an expert report and failed to list him on her witness list as and expert.

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