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Vandervort v. Vandervort

Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
134 P.3d 892 (Okla. Civ. App. 2005)


Facts

Roger Vandervort (plaintiff) filed a petition for a no-fault divorce from Patricia Vandervort (defendant) in anticipation of Patricia entering a nursing home. Roger and Patricia believed that Patricia’s single status, along with a complete lack of assets, would enable Patricia to receive social-security disability income and Medicaid payments for nursing-home care. After the trial court granted the divorce, Roger and Patricia continued to live together before Patricia entered the nursing home. During this time, however, the Vandervorts had a falling out, and Patricia left the home to live with her parents. When Patricia asked to return to the home, Roger refused, telling Patricia that she had abandoned her right to live with him. Patricia filed a motion to vacate the divorce judgment. The trial court granted Patricia’s motion and held that the petition for divorce filed by Roger was based on fraud. The trial court reasoned that the Vandervorts had claimed the marriage to be irretrievably broken due to incompatibility at the time the pleading was signed. In reality, the Vandervorts had sought to place Patricia in a more beneficial financial position prior to her entering the nursing home. Roger appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Reif, J.)

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Dissent (Gabbard, J.)

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