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In re Marriage of Cooper

Supreme Court of Iowa
769 N.W.2d 582 (Iowa 2009)


Facts

Bernard Cooper (defendant) and Vergestene Cooper (plaintiff) were married. Vergestene caught Bernard cheating on her. As a result, the Coopers signed a postnuptial reconciliation agreement, under which Bernard agreed that if he was unfaithful to Vergestene again, he would accept fault in a divorce proceeding and pay Vergestene household expenses, maintain life insurance and family health insurance, pay the education expenses of the Coopers’ daughter, and pay Vergestene one-half of all future retirement payments that Bernard received. Bernard continued his affair after signing the agreement. Vergestene filed a petition for divorce and introduced the reconciliation agreement into evidence. The district court found the agreement to be valid and ordered its enforcement in granting divorce to Vergestene. Bernard appealed, arguing that the agreement was unenforceable, because it violated public policy.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Appel, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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