deCastro v. deCastro

616 N.E.2d 52 (1993)

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deCastro v. deCastro

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
616 N.E.2d 52 (1993)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Edson deCastro (defendant) and Jean deCastro (plaintiff) married in 1963 and had three children. Jean worked and contributed her entire salary to the marriage until the first child was born in 1967, after which she cared for the children and the home. Edson provided all the financial contributions to the marital estate between 1967 and 1980. In 1968, Edson used $15,000 of joint savings to start Data General Corporation with four others. Data General was highly successful, and the deCastro’s lifestyle reflected that success. In 1980, the deCastros separated. Jean resumed working and applied her entire salary to the support of the family and children. Edson continued to cover household, family, and educational expenses. In the divorce judgment, the probate judge granted Jean 50 percent of the husband’s stock shares in Data General. The probate judge reasoned that Jean and Edson contributed equally to the marriage and the marital estate, Jean by managing the household and raising the children and Edson by his financial contributions from his work at Data General. Edson appealed, arguing that the probate judge’s distribution award failed to consider that his genius and contributions to the computer industry allowed for Data General’s great success and that his contributions should therefore be given greater weight than Jean’s. The court of appeals stayed the distribution of the stock, and Jean appealed the stay, arguing Edson’s appeal was frivolous and seeking damages and attorney’s fees.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Abrams, J.)

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