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Fallin v. Fallin

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

March 30, 2016

THOMAS URAL FALLIN III, APPELLANT,
v.
KATHY LEANNE FALLIN, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE COLUMBIA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. DR-12-136] HONORABLE HAMILTON H. SINGLETON, JUDGE.

Brian G. Brooks, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by: Brian G. Brooks; and Eugene D. Bramblett, for appellant.

Bell & Boyd, PLLC, by: Michael W. Boyd and Karen Talbot Gean, for appellee.

RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.

Thomas Ural Fallin III ("Tommy") appeals the Columbia County Circuit Court order enforcing a property-settlement agreement ("PSA") with his ex-wife, Kathy Leanne Fallin ("Leanne"). On appeal, Tommy argues that the circuit court erred in enforcing the PSA and awarding Leanne attorney's fees. We affirm.

Tommy and Leanne were married on November 23, 1985. On May 9, 2012, Leanne filed a pro se complaint for divorce. The complaint stated, "There are marital property rights and debts to be adjudicated by this [c]ourt. However, it is anticipated that Plaintiff and Defendant will reach an agreement as to the division of property and debts." Leanne also attached Tommy's entry of appearance and waiver of service of summons to the complaint. Paragraphs three and four of the waiver of service of summons state as follows:

3. I have reached an agreement with Plaintiff regarding all property and debt issues. Our agreement is contained in the Property Settlement Agreement that I have signed contemporaneously with this document.
4. I have had an opportunity to visit with an attorney prior to entering into my agreement with the Plaintiff, and fully understand the terms and effect of the agreement and decree.

On June 6, 2012, Tommy filed a withdrawal of his entry of appearance and a withdrawal of his waiver of service of summons. He stated that he desired to be represented by counsel and to be present at the final hearing. Also on June 6, Tommy's counsel filed an answer to Leanne's complaint for divorce and a counterclaim for divorce. In his answer, Tommy stated that "any attempts of settlement between the parties prior to the final hearing of this matter is inadmissible and should not be considered by th[e] [c]ourt."

On June 27, 2012, Leanne filed a motion to enforce the agreement and a motion for contempt. She alleged that she and Tommy had entered into a PSA on May 9, 2012, and she asked the court to enforce the agreement. She also asked the court to hold Tommy in contempt for selling the marital business, Fallin Tractor Company ("Fallin Tractor"), to his father and disposing of marital savings. She attached the PSA to her motion. The relevant paragraphs of the PSA provide the following:

1. PROPERTY AND DEBT SETTLEMENT
During the course of this marriage, the parties acquired various items of real and personal property and debts, and such items and debts are disposed of as follows:
Property
Property is awarded to each party as follows:
A. Real Estate
Commercial Property:
Wife shall be entitled to sole possession and ownership of 1010 North Dudney, Magnolia, AR 71753, more commonly known as the Fallin Professional Building. Wife shall be responsible for all debt thereon, and shall indemnify and hold Husband harmless therefrom. Husband shall execute all documents necessary to effectuate this provision.
Marital Home:
Wife shall be entitled to sole possession and ownership of the marital home located at 1102 Hazel Circle, Magnolia, AR 71753. Wife shall be responsible for all debt thereon, and shall indemnify and hold Husband harmless therefrom. Husband shall execute all documents necessary to effectuate this provision. If remarriage occurs or home is sold then wife shall pay [$]80, 000.00 to Husband for home at the time of sale.
B. Retirement Accounts and Pensions
Wife shall be entitled to sole ownership . . . in the following retirement accounts:
Ameriprise account ending 7004 Ameriprise account ending 9004 Plan Administrator: Candy Adams Husband shall execute all documents necessary to effectuate this provision. . . . .
D. Bank Accounts
Wife shall have sole possession of the following marital bank account(s):
Farmers Bank Checking Account (account ending 3025) Husband shall have sole possession of the following ...

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