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Marriage of Fransen

Court of Appeals of California
190 Cal. Rptr. 885 (1983)


Facts

Alwayne Fransen (plaintiff) and Arnold Fransen (defendant) were married from 1943–1966. In 1966, Alwayne and Arnold were living in Oregon when Alwayne visited her daughter in California. While Alwayne was in California, Arnold advised her that he wanted a divorce, and, as a result, Alwayne remained in California. Arnold moved to Idaho and filed for divorce; Alwayne, on advice of counsel, did not appear in the Idaho divorce court. As a result, the Idaho court's power was limited to issuing a decree of divorce. Several years later, Arnold moved to California. Subsequently, Alwayne filed in California for divorce, spousal support, and a property division with respect to Arnold's pension. Arnold took the position that the Idaho divorce decree was the final decree on all issues related to the parties' marriage. The California trial court granted Alwayne five percent of Arnold's military pension on the grounds that Alwayne and Arnold had lived in California for 10 percent of the length of their marriage and that, therefore, only 10 percent of the pension was community property divisible by the trial court. Alwayne appealed the trial court's determination that she was only entitled to five percent of Arnold's military pension since 89.9 percent of Arnold's pension was earned during his marriage to Alwayne. Arnold cross-appealed on the question of the trial court's jurisdiction to divide his military pension at all.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stephens, 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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