In re the Marriage of Karen Hunt, Appellant, and Shane Hunt, Appellee
Elbert County District Court No. 12DR82. Honorable Jeffrey K. Holmes, Judge.
Robert E. Lanham, P.C., Robert E. Lanham, Boulder, Colorado, for Appellant.
The Wollard Law Firm, P.C., Eric D. Wollard, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, for Appellee.
Fox, J., concurs. J.
Jones, J., specially concurs.
[¶1] Karen Hunt (wife) appeals from the district court's order denying her relief from the provision of the parties' memorandum of understanding (MOU) dividing the marital value of a business, Big R Construction Company (Big R), owned and operated by Shane Hunt (husband). Wife contends that husband violated C.R.C.P. 16.2(e) by not disclosing mandatory financial information regarding Big R and that, therefore, the district court erred by not granting her motion to reopen the property division under C.R.C.P. 16.2(e)(10). Because we agree with both of wife's contentions, we reverse the district court's order and remand the case for further proceedings.
[¶2] In July 2012, wife petitioned for legal separation of the parties' marriage. One month later, husband filed a certificate of mandatory disclosures under C.R.C.P. 16.2.
[¶3] In September 2012, based on an agreement reached in mediation, the parties entered into the MOU, which provides, in relevant part:
The parties agree that [wife's] 50% marital share of the business, Big R Construction Co., Inc. will be $250,000. Neither attorney is offering or endorsing valuation of the business and each party has had the opportunity to perform any due diligence with regard to the value of the business as they so desire.
[¶4] On September 26, 2012, as requested by the parties, the district court entered the MOU provisions as partial permanent orders.
[¶5] In March 2013, wife moved for relief from the MOU provisions relating to Big R, in relevant part, under C.R.C.P. 16.2(e)(10), contending that husband did not disclose required information to her. She based her contentions on formal discovery she propounded several months after the MOU regarding the value of Big R. (A subsequent appraisal from a forensic accounting firm retained by wife estimated the total value of Big R and its related assets as $2,165,000. Husband's expert estimated the value at $740,000.)
[¶6] In denying wife's motion, the district court relied on the language in the parties' MOU and found that there was no violation of C.R.C.P. 16.2 as to Big R because " [t]he parties simply made the choice to go forward [with the MOU] without seeking additional information." The court determined that it would not " undermine" the parties' agreement by considering whether wife might not have entered into it if she had received additional information. Thus, even though " there were some things that could have been obtained that might have altered" wife's decision to enter into the MOU, it would not be consistent with the language of the MOU for the court to consider that issue.
[¶7] The court then dissolved the parties' marriage at their request and entered permanent orders, dividing Big R in accordance with the MOU.
[¶8] Because wife's appeal concerns provisions of C.R.C.P. 16.2, we begin with an overview of the governing law.
I. C.R.C.P. 16.2