FROM THE CROSS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 19-DR-12-81-4]
HONORABLE KATHLEEN BELL, JUDGE
Law Offices of Ford, Troutt & Cook, by: Paul N. Ford, for
D. Bridgforth, P.A., by: John D. Bridgforth, for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge
case is a companion case to Sherman v. Boeckmann,
2016 Ark.App. 568, also handed down today. These two appeals
arise out of very contentious and protracted divorce
litigation between appellant Jeannie Sherman and appellee
Raymond Boeckmann. In this appeal, Sherman argues that the
circuit court erred in the division of the parties'
marital property. We affirm.
crux of the dispute is the ownership of four family business
corporations the parties agreed are marital property: B and L
Properties, Inc. (B&L); L and K Properties, Inc.
(L&K); Boeckmann and Sons, Inc. (Sons Inc.); and Logan
Centers, Inc. (Logan or Logan Center). It is the valuation
and disposition of Logan that is at the heart of this appeal.
Prior to the litigation, Boeckmann owned 100 percent of the
stock in Sons Inc; Sherman owned 100 percent of the stock in
Logan Center; and each party owned 50 percent of the stock in
L&K and B&L.
filed her complaint for divorce on 10 April 2012. Boeckmann
answered and counterclaimed. In his counterclaim, Boeckmann
sought a mutual restraining order because, according to
Boeckmann, Sherman began removing his name from various bank
accounts, both personal and corporate, almost immediately
after she filed her complaint for divorce. The court entered
an ex parte mutual restraining order, prohibiting the parties
from disposing of any of the property belonging to the
parties except in the ordinary course of business or by prior
written agreement. Further, Sherman was ordered to have
Boeckmann's name restored to the various accounts and to
return the monies removed from those accounts since 1 March
2012 and not used in the ordinary course of business. Later,
the parties were given authority to access the other
party's personal accounts and the Logan and the Sons Inc.
accounts for the purpose of monitoring the balances and the
use of the funds. They could not write checks or otherwise
withdraw funds from those accounts.
three-day trial was held in late June 2013. The contested
issues were the valuation and division of the marital
property. Later, the circuit court issued a letter opinion
stating that it could not use the testimony provided at trial
to value the four corporations. The court asked the parties
for the names of three experts to conduct another valuation.
having another valuation of the corporations performed, the
court issued another letter opinion ordering the marital
property, real and personal, sold with the proceeds divided
equally between the parties. This included the parties'
various personal and corporate bank accounts. Boeckmann was
given offsets for money Sherman had taken from Logan Center
accounts that was not in the ordinary course of business.
noting that it had three options concerning the division of
the stock in the businesses, the court ordered the stock in
all four businesses sold and the proceeds equally divided.
The court concluded that it could not award each party
one-half of the stock because "[t]he disdain, the
hostility these parties have for each other would create an
intolerable situation by having them to business [sic] with
each other." The court further concluded that it could
not award all of the stock to one party, with the other party
to receive an offsetting amount from other marital assets,
because of the lack of a proper valuation of the Logan
the issuance of the court's letter opinion, but prior to
entry of the decree, Sherman moved the court to reconsider
the stock division. She argued that there was no statutory
authority for the court to order a sale of the stock. She
also conceded that the parties could not work together,
precluding an equal division of the stock. Sherman therefore
requested that the court award her all of the stock, with
Boeckmann to receive a corresponding amount from the other
marital assets. In response, Boeckmann argued that, if the
court believed that it could not properly order the stock in
the four corporations sold, the court should award each party
50 percent of the stock in each corporation.
decree of divorce awarded each party one-half of the stock in
each of the four corporations. Otherwise, the property was
divided as set out in the court's letter opinion. The
court later amended the decree to include the exhibits
listing the parties' various accounts and the balances on
the first day of trial. Boeckmann was also awarded
approximately $365, 000 from the Logan Center accounts and
approximately $110, 000 from other joint accounts in order to
equalize monies Sherman removed for her personal use without
dismissed Sherman's appeal of the divorce decree for lack
of a final order. Sherman v. Boeckmann, 2015
Ark.App. 566 (Sherman I). We also ordered rebriefing
in the companion case. Sherman v. Boeckmann, 2015
Ark.App. 567 (Sherman II). Sherman filed a petition
for review of our decision in Sherman I. Relying on
its earlier decision in Kelly v. Kelly, 2016 Ark.
72, 483 S.W.3d 296, the supreme court granted Sherman's
petition for review, vacated our opinion in Sherman