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Nardini v. Nardini

Supreme Court of Minnesota
414 N.W.2d 184 (1987)


Facts

Marguerite Nardini (plaintiff) and Ralph Nardini (defendant) were married for 31 years. Before the marriage, Ralph purchased a one-half interest in a business for $2,500. A few years later, after the parties were married, Ralph bought his partner out of the business for $12,500. Over the course of the marriage, Ralph and Marguerite successfully transformed Nardini of Minnesota into a lucrative closely held corporation. As the president of Nardini of Minnesota, Ralph managed the business. While Marguerite occasionally performed bookkeeping services, she was mostly a homemaker and community volunteer. At the time of the Nardinis’ divorce, Marguerite’s expert valued Nardini of Minnesota at $725,213, but Ralph’s expert valued it at $350,000. The trial court adopted Ralph’s expert’s estimation, and the court found that Ralph owned a one-half interest in the common stock outright as separate property, due to his initial investment before the marriage. The trial court determined that the other one-half interest was marital property. Marguerite appealed the trial court’s decision, and the court of appeals affirmed. Marguerite appealed again.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Coyne, J.)

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