Alford v. Alford
Tennessee Supreme Court
120 S.W.3d 810 (2003)
Pamela Alford (defendant) and Stanley Alford (plaintiff) were married in November 1979 and were married for 20 years. However, the couple lived apart for about half of their marriage and separated in 1989. Pamela filed for divorce in 1990 but withdrew the complaint. The couple agreed to remain married in name only for the sake of their daughter. Although no formal child or support agreement existed, Stanley paid Pamela $200 a month in child support along with other financial assistance for their daughter’s insurance and tuition. Stanley formally filed for divorce in 1999. The court entered a final divorce decree in 2001, granting Stanley a divorce due to Pamela’s deception in joint financial matters. The divorce decree cited a second mortgage Pamela acquired on the couple’s home and credit cards Pamela opened in Stanley’s name as evidence of this deception. The trial court ordered Pamela’s debts be paid out of the marital estate and divided the marital assets equally. Stanley filed a motion to amend the judgment. The trial court modified the judgment, requiring Stanley to pay Pamela’s debts up to $9,000. After the debts were paid, the trial court required the parties to add the values of their separate 401k accounts and split the value of the accounts equally. Stanley appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial-court decision. Stanley then appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Drowata, C.J.)
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