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Kummerfeld v. Kummerfeld

Supreme Court of Wyoming

September 27, 2013

Susan Lynn KUMMERFELD, Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
John Gary KUMMERFELD, Appellee (Defendant).

Page 823

Representing Appellant: Mary Elizabeth Galvan of Galvan & Fritzen, Laramie, WY.

Representing Appellee: DaNece Day of Lubnau Law Office, P.C., Gillette, WY.

Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, VOIGT, BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.

HILL, Justice.

[¶ 1] In her appeal of the district court's property allocation, Susan Lynn Kummerfeld (Wife) contends that the court erred when it only gave her 23% of the total assets, with the remainder going to her ex-husband John Gary Kummerfeld (Husband). We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶ 2] Wife states her single issue as follows:

Whether the district court abused its discretion in the manner in which it divided the property between the divorcing parties by allocating 23% of the property to Wife and the remainder to Husband.

FACTS

[¶ 3] Husband and Wife were married on January 21, 1995. Husband and Wife were married for seventeen years at the time they decided to separate. The marriage was a second marriage for each party. Husband, who was in his late fifties when the parties married, brought over $1 million in assets to the marriage.[1] Wife, who was in her early forties, brought no assets to the marriage.

[¶ 4] Husband is a third-generation rancher in Campbell County, Wyoming and still maintains the 1,080-acre family ranch outside of Rozet. During the parties' marriage Husband continued the ranch work while also operating his construction and oil field business. Wife did not work outside the couple's home. Prior to the marriage Wife worked at Sam's Club in Casper. Having been previously injured, Wife receives Social Security Disability income of $1,460.00 per

Page 824

month. Eventually, Husband sold his interest in the construction company for $2.6 million and he also agreed to purchase his family ranch. Prior to his purchase of the entire ranch, Husband's family gifted a 20-acre parcel to the parties as a wedding gift, separate from the ranch as a whole. A manufactured house was placed on that parcel, which is where the couple resided during their marriage.

[¶ 5] During the marriage, in 1999 Husband entered a formal contract with his parents to purchase the family ranch for $132,000.00. As noted, in 2001 Husband sold his interest in his construction company for approximately $2.6 million. The parties separated in 2011 and these two assets— the ranch and the proceeds from the construction company sale— became the primary issue in the couple's divorce.

[¶ 6] After trial and after having valued the total assets to be divided between the parties at approximately $4.5 million, the district court awarded Wife over $1 million and Husband approximately $3.4 million. Wife appealed the district ...


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