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In re Marriage of Corak

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Six Division

October 23, 2014

In re the Marriage of Amy Corak, Appellee, and Nevan Corak, Appellant.

Adams County District Court No. 12DR101 Honorable Craig R. Welling, Judge

Law Office of Gary P. Johnson, Gary P. Johnson, Alison H. Shunneson, Denver, Colorado, for Appellee

Kumpf Charsley & Hansen, LLC, Robert E. Wells, Englewood, Colorado, for Appellant

OPINION

JUDGE BERNARD

¶ 1 This is an appeal in a dissolution of marriage case. The husband, Nevan Corak, raises two issues concerning the trial court's permanent orders that allocated marital property and marital debt. He asserts that the trial court erred when it (1) decided that a portion of his separate property became marital property when he pledged it as collateral to secure a marital loan and (2) declined to include in the marital estate the amounts that his wife, Amy Corak, spent during the marriage to retire her separate debt.

¶ 2 We first conclude that the act of pledging separate property as collateral to obtain a loan for marital purposes does not automatically turn separate property into marital property. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's ruling on that issue, and we remand the case for further proceedings.

¶ 3 We next conclude that husband has intentionally abandoned his contention that the court should have included funds that wife paid to retire her separate debt in the marital estate. We also conclude that husband invited any error that the trial court may have committed when addressing this contention.

I. Background

¶ 4 Husband and wife entered into a prenuptial agreement shortly before they were married in 2010. The agreement identified the separate property that each had acquired before the marriage. This separate property included a parcel of husband's property that we shall call the Shoshone property. The agreement stated that all the separate property, including the Shoshone property, would remain separate property.

¶ 5 One month after husband and wife married, they decided to buy a piece of property together. We shall call it the Pinyon property. Husband pledged the Shoshone property as collateral for a home equity line of credit for the down payment on the Pinyon property and for the funds to remodel it.

¶ 6 Husband and wife also agreed to apply $16, 000 from the line of credit to retire one of wife's premarital credit card debts. This credit card debt carried a higher interest rate than the line of credit. Husband and wife agreed that wife would make payments toward the line of credit.

¶ 7 Wife testified at the permanent orders hearing in 2012. She stated, without dispute, that she had made all of the payments on the line of credit during the marriage, even beyond the amount that she used to retire her separate debt. She added that she had also paid down some of her other premarital debts.

ΒΆ 8 Husband testified that he had also paid down his separate debt during the marriage. He admitted that he had not disclosed this debt in the prenuptial ...


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