Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Seventh Division

September 7, 2017

Carl M. Williams, deceased, by Michael Williams, Personal Representative of the Estate of Carl M. Williams, Appellant,
v.
Roberta-Diane J. Williams, n/k/a Roberta-Diane J. Perna, Appellee.

         Arapahoe County District Court No. 96DR611 Honorable Ben L. Leutwyler, Judge

          Nevin A. Seeger, P.C., Nevin A. Seeger, Loveland, Colorado; The Vasilco Law Group, P.C., Patrick M. Vasilco, Denver, Colorado, for Appellant

          Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C., Ronald D. Litvak, Luke S. Abraham, Denver, Colorado, for Appellee

          ORDER AND JUDGMENTS REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS

          RICHMAN JUDGE

         ¶ 1 Michael Williams, Personal Representative of the Estate of Carl M. Williams (husband), appeals the district court's order obligating the estate to continue making monthly maintenance payments to Roberta-Diane J. Williams, now known as Roberta-Diane J. Perna (wife), after husband's death, and the two support judgments entered thereon. We reverse and remand the case to the district court to enter an order requiring the wife to refund to the estate the amount of monthly payments the estate has paid to wife and the fees it has paid to her attorney, and to determine and award the estate its reasonable attorney fees incurred in the matter.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 Husband and wife married in November 1988, when wife was forty-two years old and husband was sixty years old. Prior to entering into the marriage, husband and wife executed a premarital agreement. The premarital agreement provided at paragraph 4(b)(3) that "[husband] shall be required to pay to [wife] during her lifetime, and [wife] shall be entitled to receive from [husband] during her lifetime, monthly payments" on the filing of a petition for dissolution, in an amount determined based on the number of years the parties were married at the time the petition was filed. Also, under the premarital agreement, in exchange for the monthly payments, wife waived maintenance as determined under section 14-10-114, C.R.S. 2016.

         ¶ 3 Husband and wife's eight-year marriage ended in 1996, and their separation agreement was incorporated into the decree. The separation agreement provided in relevant part as follows:

In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4. (b)(3) of the Premarital Agreement, the Husband shall pay to the Wife monthly payments in the amount of $4, 379, commencing thirty (30) days after the filing of this action for dissolution, and continuing monthly thereafter until the remarriage or death of the Wife, whichever first occurs. The Parties agree that the amount of this monthly payment has been correctly calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Premarital Agreement, and that the Premarital Agreement provides the amount of these payments shall be nonmodifiable for the period of time that the Husband is obligated to make these payments to the Wife.

         ¶ 4 The agreement also provided that except as specified in the agreement, the parties release each other and their estates "from every right, claim, and demand of whatever kind or nature." And it provided that it "is binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, assigns, and personal representatives of the parties."

         ¶ 5 After the 1996 dissolution, husband consistently made the monthly payments to wife under the agreement until his death on November 27, 2015. Wife received a final payment on December 1, 2015, but no payments thereafter. She then filed a suggestion of death, a motion to substitute the estate for husband in the dissolution action, and a verified entry of support judgment, asserting that the estate was obligated to make the monthly payments to her and had failed to do so. The estate responded that the parties had not agreed to continue the monthly payments beyond husband's death and therefore the estate had no obligation to continue making them.

         ¶ 6 Both parties filed briefs in the district court on the legal issue of whether and under what circumstances a monthly maintenance obligation continues after the death of the obligor spouse. Wife then filed another verified entry of support judgment, reflecting the additional payments that had accrued and had not been paid.

         ¶ 7 The district court ruled that the premarital and separation agreements obligated the estate to continue making the monthly payments to wife until her death or remarriage. The court further awarded wife her attorney fees and costs under the prevailing party attorney fee provisions of both agreements. The parties then stipulated that the estate would pay wife the amount of the past due maintenance payments, make ongoing payments as they came due, and pay her attorney all fees owed to date, but that the estate could appeal the district court's orders and seek to recoup all funds paid in the event its appeal was successful.

         II. The Estate's Obligation to Continue Making the Monthly Maintenance Payments to Wife After Husband's Death

         ¶ 8 The estate contends that the district court erred in ruling that husband's obligation under the premarital and separation agreements to make monthly payments to wife ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.