France v. France

In France v. France, 902 P.2d 701, 704 (Wyo. 1995), the Court affirmed a property division in which the wife received an overwhelming majority of the property. The Court agreed with the trial court that, because most of the couple's property was brought into the marriage by the wife or inherited by her, she was the appropriate party to receive it upon their divorce. France, at 706. In France v. France, husband and wife initiated an estate plan in an effort to minimize tax consequences and provide the maximum estate for their disabled daughter. Accordingly, wife gifted stock in her family's closely held ranching corporation, which she had received from her parents, to her husband making him a forty-five percent shareholder in the corporation. Upon dissolution of the marriage, the trial court awarded all of the stock in the corporation to the wife. In affirming the award, the Court said: "It is apparent that the purpose of the gift of the stock to the husband was to effectuate the estate plan on the assumption they still would be married when the first one died. ...We are satisfied, given the record demonstrating the stock ...came to the parties by virtue of wife's inheritance from her parents and the purpose for which the gift of stock was made to the husband, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. The distribution of the property made by the court was fair, just, and manifested an exercise of discretion that is unassailable. France, at 706. Therefore, this court made it clear that the parties' underlying motivation and intent behind their actions may be dispositive."