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Lund v. Lund

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 21, 2017

JEANNE LUND, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT LUND, Defendant.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 8 March 2017

         Appeal by plaintiff from order entered 1 April 2016 by Judge Ward D. Scott in Buncombe County No. 13 CVD 1382 District Court.

          Mary Elizabeth Arrowood for plaintiff-appellant.

          Ana M. Prendergast and Siemens Family Law Group, by Jim Siemens, for defendant-appellee.

          TYSON, Judge.

         Plaintiff, Jeanne Lund ("Wife"), appeals from the trial court's revised equitable distribution order, entered after this Court's remand for further findings of fact. We affirm.

         I. Background

         Wife and Defendant ("Husband") married on 14 February 1997, separated on 5 January 2013, and divorced on 6 February 2014. Prior to the date of absolute divorce, Wife had sued Husband for equitable distribution and sought an unequal distribution of the marital estate. Husband answered and counterclaimed for an equitable and equal distribution of the marital estate. The matter came before the trial court and was heard during a four-day trial. On 11 August 2014, the trial court entered an equitable distribution order, which divided the marital estate equally.

         The trial court heard testimony regarding the value of the former marital residence located at 403 Sugar Hollow Drive, Fairview, North Carolina. Three licensed real estate appraisers testified as expert witnesses regarding the fair market value of the marital residence. Two of the appraisers testified on behalf of Wife. Mark Morris, Husband's witness, opined $263, 000.00 was the value of the marital residence on the date of separation.

         The court found Mr. Morris was the only appraiser to testify and opine to the value of the marital residence on the date of separation. The court found Mr. Morris's testimony as credible, determined $263, 000.00 to be the value of the marital residence, and distributed that property to Husband.

         The trial court further found that neither party had presented evidence regarding the value of the marital home at the date of distribution. The court concluded there was no divisible property in connection with the marital home, since neither party had presented evidence tending to show any increase or decrease in value of the home during the time period between the parties' separation and distribution of the property.

         Wife appealed the 11 August 2014 order to this Court. This Court reversed the trial court's finding "that neither party introduced evidence of divisible property associated with any passive increase (or decrease) in value of the marital home during the period of separation[.]" Lund v. Lund, ___ N.C.App. ___, ___, 779 S.E.2d 175, 184 (2015) ("Lund I"). This Court remanded the issue to the trial court "for more findings on this issue, " and to revise the order, if necessary, to achieve an equitable division of the parties' marital property. Id. The trial court did not hear, receive, or consider further evidence upon remand, and entered a revised order on 1 April 2016. Wife appeals.

         II. Issues

         Wife argues the trial court erred by: (1) finding Wife's evidence on the value of the marital home was speculative and not credible; (2) failing to value and distribute, as divisible property, the increase in value of the marital home from the date of separation through the date of trial; (3) failing to properly consider the unequal distributional factors raised by Wife and to make appropriate findings of fact with regard to those factors; and, ...


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