from the District Court of Sheridan County. The Honorable
William J. Edelman, Judge.
Appellant: James P. Castberg, Castberg Law Office, Sheridan,
Appellee: Stacy M. Kirven, Barney & Graham, LLC,
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
[¶1] After slightly more than three years of
marriage, Wendellyn Dane (Wife) filed for divorce from Kris
Dane (Husband). She appeals from the decree entered in that
case. We affirm.
[¶2] Wife identifies three issues, which we
condense into two and restate as follows:
I. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying
Wife's motion to amend her complaint to add a promissory
estoppel claim, and in failing to enforce the alleged promise
in its distribution of the couple's property?
II. Did the district court abuse its discretion by dividing
the marital property as it did?
[¶3] Husband and Wife first met in late 2008
when he decided to sell his condominium in Naples, Florida.
Wife was a real estate agent designated to handle the resale
of units in the condominium project of which his property was
a part. At the time, Husband was approximately 61 years old,
and Wife was 55.
[¶4] After their initial contact, they did
not see each other again until April of 2009, when Wife
telephoned Husband to ask if she could rent a room in his
condo. She had sold her own home and was planning to leave
her boyfriend, with whom she was sharing an apartment.
Husband agreed to rent her a furnished room and a bathroom
for $500 per month.
[¶5] Within two months their relationship
became romantic, and Wife no longer paid rent or contributed
to household expenses. Over a period of two years, Husband
took her golfing and on trips, and he paid approximately
$8,000 in relation to her arrest for driving while
intoxicated after drinking wine with a girlfriend one
[¶6] During those two years, Husband began
to consider retiring, winding down his day-to-day involvement
in businesses in which he had an interest, and moving to a
cooler area of the country. He first concentrated on
mountainous areas in the eastern United States, and he took
Wife on a trip to explore a variety of options " up and
down the east coast." He liked several locations, but
she did not, and they thereafter shifted their focus to
states in the Rocky Mountains. Their research and the
recommendations of others eventually led them to take a trip
to Sheridan, Wyoming in February of 2011.
[¶7] During that trip, Husband made an offer
on a house. In early April, the couple moved to Sheridan, and
Husband completed the purchase of that home. A month later,
he closed on the sale of his Florida condominium. On July 9,
2011, the couple wed.
[¶8] Husband made the down payment on the
Sheridan home from his personal funds, and because he and
Wife were not yet married at the time, titled it only in his
name. It was furnished almost entirely with items he had
purchased for his condominium, and he made all the mortgage
payments during the marriage. Husband also paid all household
expenses and for all vehicles, because Wife brought few
assets to the marriage and worked only sporadically at a real
estate office in Sheridan. Husband's ...