Danielson v. Evans

In Danielson v. Evans, 201 Ariz. 401, 36 P.3d 749 (App. 2001), the spouses were divorced in Colorado. Pursuant to the decree, the wife was to receive a portion of the ex-husband's retirement benefits which percentage was quantified in a dollar amount. Several years later, ex-husband began to receive disability payments, resulting in a reduction of his retirement benefits to the ex-wife. Id. at 403-06, PP2-8 and 15, 36 P.3d at 751-54 . The ex-wife then petitioned for an order to show cause why her ex-husband was not in contempt. The trial court granted her relief by requiring the ex-husband to pay additional amounts to her. Id. at 405-06, PP10-12, 36 P.3d at 753-54. The court affirmed in part, noting that the relief was consistent with the Colorado decree and did not clearly violate federal law. Id. at 406-11, PP15-33, 36 P.3d at 754-59. The court rejected the ex-husband's request that the case be remanded to the trial court to equitably reallocate the community property based on the totality of current circumstances. The court reasoned that a reallocation would circumvent the policy of finality, conflicted with Rule 60(c) and was impractical because the parties had been divorced for eight years and any attempt to identify and reapportion their community property would be difficult if not impossible. Id. at 410, P32, 36 P.3d at 758.