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Stewart v. Stewart

727 S.W.2d 416 (1987)

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Stewart v. Stewart

Missouri Court of Appeals

727 S.W.2d 416 (1987)

Facts

Mary Stewart and Johnny Stewart sought to dissolve their marriage through a written separation agreement, which was incorporated into the dissolution decree. The agreement provided that (1) Mary would be entitled to live in a home in which both parties held title, and (2) when the couple’s youngest son reached the age of majority, Johnny would become entitled to a sum equal to one-half of the current equity in the home. The agreement quoted the current value of the home. However, when their youngest son turned 21, Mary and Johnny disagreed as to whether the phrase “current equity” referred to equity at the time the agreement was made or equity at the time of sale. Johnny moved to hold the mother in contempt for failing to pay him his half. Mary moved to hold Johnny in contempt for failure to pay past child support. Both contempt motions were denied. The trial court ordered the sale of the home and held that Johnny was entitled to one-half of the equity at the time of sale. Mary appealed. The Missouri Court of Appeals granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Crist, J.)

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