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Michael v. Michael

Court of Appeals of Missouri
791 S.W.2d 772 (1990)


Facts

Mr. Michael and Mrs. Michael married in 1972. Both were well educated. Initially, the couple lived in Little Rock, where Mrs. Michael worked for Southwestern Bell and Mr. Michael was a reporter. Mrs. Michael was transferred to St. Louis in 1974. Mr. Michael found work but was fired in 1978. At that point, the Michaels agreed that Mr. Michael would concentrate on a writing career and take care of the household while Mrs. Michael supported the family financially. That same year, Mrs. Michael was transferred to Oklahoma City. Mr. Michael eventually gave up writing with little to show for his efforts. He worked briefly at a store and then in freelance public relations for eight-to-nine months. He spent several hours per day making dinner but was lax with respect to other household chores. For two years he drove Mrs. Michael to and from work. In 1984, Mrs. Michael was transferred back to St. Louis. Mr. Michael continued to cook dinner and occasionally drive his wife to and from work. Mrs. Michael had a successful career, and the couple lived well on her income. Mr. Michael, on the other hand, had very few assets and little earnings. Divorce proceedings were begun in 1987. The trial court allocated 75.5 percent of the marital assets to Mrs. Michael and the remainder to Mr. Michael. He was awarded $500 for attorney fees but no maintenance. Mr. Michael appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pudlowski, J.)

Dissent (Crandall, J.)

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