Often parties to a marriage buy a home and eventually when the divorce comes are trying to split the marital equities and debts. One of the hardest assets to divide is the marital residence. Why is it hard to divide? Often there is a dispute as to how to get the highest value for the marital residence after the parties have separated. herein lies the case of Easley v Easley a Case out of Alaska Supreme Court. It involves the divorce of the husband and wife who owned a marital home in Alaska. The parties were divorce in 2008 and had divided all marital assets including the sale of the marital home. Or so it seemed. As the husband Easley claimed although the sale of the marital home was ordered by the Trial Court the Husband did not sell the home and divide the proceeds.
Why you might ask did he not sell the home back in 2008 when the judge ordered him to do so? The husband sat on his hands for 7 years claiming he was denied his due process rights in the order to sell the family home. The husband Kevin claimed the legal defense of mutual mistake as to why he did not sell the marital home. The home had declined in value and of course he did not want to sell the valuable asset at the time it was ordered. He also claimed that he was denied his due process rights.
Now the argument for Due process violations has as far as I have ever seen in Family Law Cases showed up on appeal claiming that Mr. Easley was denied his notice and opportunity to sell the family home. Mr. Easley claimed there was actual prejudice, However, the Alaska supreme denied the actual prejudice.
The Alaska Supreme Court held that Mr. Easley had numerous opportunities to be heard in Court on the sale of the marital home. Since the Court ordered sale in 2008 Mr. Easley was in Court in 2009 arguing that the sale could not go through due to mistake of fact. In 2014 he was back in Court arguing that there was no date to sell the home. In addition, in 2015 he was in Court twice regarding if there was unnecessary delay in the sale of the marital home. The court at that time found there was a delay and ordered the sale of the home. The further came to the conclusion that there was not due process violation because each time Kevin went to Court he knew that his ex wife wanted her share of the proceeds of the marital home. Therefore the due process argument failed.
The last argument Mr. Easley threw before the Alaska Supreme Court was the allegation of inequitable distribution of marital proceeds of the sale of the house. Again the Court held that there was no inequity as far as his spousal support payments to his ex wife. He attempted to claim that the spousal support payments should be credited against the sale of the house. However, the Court found that the spousal support payments were a separate order for the division of the sale of the house proceeds.