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Kruy v. Kruy
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	2002 ME 14
Docket:	Aro-01-158	
Submitted
on Briefs:	October 2, 2001	
Decided:	January 29,  2002

Panel:SAUFLEY, C.J., and CLIFFORD, RUDMAN, DANA, ALEXANDER, and CALKINS, JJ.



JONATHAN P. KRUY v. NICOLE G. KRUY
DANA, J.

	[¶1]  Jonathan P. Kruy appeals from a divorce judgment entered in the
District Court (Fort Kent, Daigle, J.) awarding Nicole G. Kruy a larger share of
their marital property.  Jonathan contends that the court erred in considering
only one of the three factors required to be considered in marital property
divisions.  19-A M.R.S.A. § 953(1) (1998).  We disagree and affirm the
judgment.
	[¶2]  Nicole and Jonathan were married in 1987, and Jonathan filed for
a divorce in early 2000.  After hearing testimony from both parties, the court
found that Jonathan made a $5000 contribution from his non-marital funds to
purchase marital real estate, whereas Nicole contributed $27,971.34.  The court
found that otherwise, "the parties contributed equally to the acquisition of the
marital estate."  The court awarded Nicole $22,971.34 more of the marital
property than Jonathan by requiring him to make an "equalization payment"
after calculating the value of the marital property awarded to each party.  In
making its decision, the court did not indicate that it considered the value of
the non-marital property set apart to each spouse or the parties' economic
circumstances.
	[¶3]  Jonathan appealed, contending that the court erred in basing its
award on 19-A M.R.S.A. § 953(1)(A) alone.  According to Nicole, the court's
distribution was "just" pursuant to the statute because neither party presented
evidence regarding the factors listed in paragraphs (B) and (C); thus, the court
acted within its discretion in basing its award on paragraph (A) alone.
	[¶4]  We review a court's disposition of property for an abuse of
discretion.  Chamberlin v. Chamberlin, 2001 ME 167, ¶ 4, 785 A.2d 1247, 1249.
	[¶5]  "Maine is an equitable distribution state, and not a community
property state."  Salenius v. Salenius, 654 A.2d 426, 429 (Me. 1995).  Section
953 provides, in pertinent part:
1.	Disposition.  In a proceeding for a divorce . . . the court
shall set apart to each spouse the spouse's property and shall
divide the marital property in proportions the court considers
just after considering all relevant factors, including:
A.	The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of
the marital property, including the contribution of a
spouse as homemaker;

B.	The value of the property set apart to each spouse;
and

C.	The economic circumstances of each spouse at the
time the division of property is to become effective,
including the desirability of awarding the family home or
the right to live in the home for reasonable periods to the
spouse having custody of the children.
"A just distribution of property is not synonymous with an equal distribution."  
Chamberlin v. Chamberlin, 2001 ME 167, ¶ 4, 785 A.2d at 1249 (internal
quotation marks omitted).  A court must consider all the factors listed in
section 953(1).  See id. (stating that "[a] divorce court is required to consider
the 'economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property
is to become effective'"); Arey v. Arey, 651 A.2d 351, 353 (Me. 1994) (stating
that "the court must consider the factors set forth in 19 M.R.S.A. § 722-A
[predecessor to 19-A M.R.S.A. § 953] . . . .").  A failure to consider all factors in
distributing the marital property constitutes an abuse of discretion.  See
Robinson v. Robinson, 554 A.2d 1173, 1175 (Me. 1989) (concluding the court
abused its discretion because it failed to consider two of the three factors in
dividing the marital property and considered other factors not legitimate for
consideration).  
	[¶6]  Because the court found all the real property to be marital and the
parties stipulated to the division of the personal property without indicating
the value of the non-marital items, the court was not able to consider the
amount of non-marital property set aside to either party as required by section
953(1)(B).  Similarly, because the parties failed to present evidence regarding
their economic circumstances at the time of the divorce, the court was not able
to consider section 953(1)(C).  When the parties fail to present the evidence,
they may not fault the court for not considering it.
	[¶7]  Jonathan also contends that our holding in Long v. Long, 1997
ME 171, 697 A.2d 1317, requires an equal distribution of the property in this
case.  In Long, we affirmed the divorce court's exercise of its discretion in
making an equal division of the property notwithstanding differences in the
parties' original contributions to the purchase of their residence.  Id. ¶¶ 2-3,
23, 697 A.2d at 1319, 1325.  We never indicated that it would have been an
abuse of discretion to have divided the property otherwise.
		The entry is:
			Judgment affirmed.
              
Attorney for plaintiff: Bob Bellefleur, Esq. 324 Main Street Madawaska, ME 04756 Attorney for defendant: Robert J. Plourde, Esq, P O Box 457 Fort Kent, ME 04743