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Dickerson v. Sage

Supreme Court of Delaware

March 28, 2018

ELI DICKERSON [1], Respondent Below, Appellant,
v.
YULIA LUCILLE SAGE, Petitioner Below, Appellee.

          Submitted: January 26, 2018

          Court Below-Family Court of the State of Delaware File No. CN16-02507 Petition Nos. 16-12406 17-23141

          Before STRINE, Chief Justice; SEITZ and TRAYNOR, Justices.

          ORDER

          Gary F. Traynor Justice

         This 28th day of March 2018, upon consideration of the parties' briefs and the record below, it appears to the Court that:

         (1) The respondent below-appellant, Eli Dickerson ("the Husband"), filed this appeal from the Family Court's September 19, 2017 letter decision and order: (i) denying the Husband's motion for reargument of a child support order; (ii) denying the Husband's motion for relief from a judgment or order; and (iii) granting in part the Husband's motion for relief from clerical mistakes or mathematical errors. We find no error or abuse of discretion in the Family Court's decision. Accordingly, we affirm the Family Court's judgment.

         (2) The parties were married on September 20, 2013, separated on April 12, 2016, and divorced on November 3, 2016. In 2014, they moved from Canada to the United States. They have two children, a daughter born in 2014 and a daughter born in 2015 (collectively, "the Children"). When the petitioner below-appellee, Yulia Lucille Sage ("the Wife") filed for divorce, she requested ancillary relief, including property division and alimony. On January 3, 2017, the parties submitted a completed Family Court Civil Rule 16(c) Financial Report.

         (3) A scheduling order was entered on February 7, 2017. The ancillary matters hearing was scheduled for May 26, 2017, with a pretrial conference on April 27, 2017. The Family Court Civil Rule 52(d) Ancillary Pretrial Stipulation was due five business days before the pretrial conference.

         (4) As required by the scheduling order, the Wife completed her portion of the Rule 52(d) Stipulation and provided a copy to the Husband. The Husband failed to submit the Rule 52(d) Stipulation with his portion completed. The Family Court filled out the Husband's portion of the Rule 52(d) Stipulation at the April 27, 2017 hearing and entered the Rule 52(d) Stipulation.

         (5) The Family Court held the ancillary hearing on May 26, 2017. On July 14, 2017, the Family Court held a teleconference with the parties to address child support. Both parties agreed that it would be best to calculate child support at the same time as the ancillary matters of property division and alimony were resolved. On July 31, 2017, the Family Court issued a letter decision and order dividing the parties' marital property and determining that the Wife needed, and the Husband could pay $245.00 in alimony and $1, 750.00 in child support on a monthly basis. Until a child support ordered was entered, the Family Court ordered the Husband to pay $1, 750.00 per month in non-taxable alimony and $245.00 in taxable alimony. On July 31, 2017, the Wife filed a petition for child support.

         (6) On August 7, 2017, the Husband filed a motion for reargument of the July 31, 2017 order on the grounds that his TD Bank 401(k) plan had a different value on the date of separation than the figure listed by the Family Court in the matters that the parties agreed upon. On August 9, 2017, the Wife filed a motion for reargument of the July 31, 2017 order based on the Family Court's division of debt and valuation of an account in Canadian, rather than U.S., dollars.

         (7) On August 8, 2017, the Family Court entered the child support order for $1, 750.00. On August 10, 2017, the Husband filed a motion for reargument of the child support order on the grounds that the Family Court overlooked the Father's 401(k) contributions and medical insurance payments. The Father also argued that he was entitled to a 10% parenting-time adjustment based on more than 80 overnight visits in a year with the Children.

         (8) On August 23, 2017, the Husband filed a motion for relief from judgment under Family Court Civil Rules 60(b)(3) and 60(b)(6), alleging that the Mother had dissipated $4, 044.99 in marital assets. The Husband also filed a motion for relief from clerical mistakes or mathematical errors under Family Court Civil Rule 60(a), arguing that the August 8, 2017 child support order incorrectly listed the Wife's salary and that there should be Canada Child Benefits for both of the Children, not just one. On August 28, 2017, the Husband filed a motion to amend the motion for relief from clerical mistake or mathematical error on the grounds that, as of August 15, 2017, the Canada Child Benefits had increased by $110.00 per month.

         (9) In an order dated August 29, 2017, the Family Court denied the Husband's motion to amend the relief from clerical mistake or mathematical error. In a letter decision and order dated September 19, 2017, the Family Court addressed the Husband's other motions and the Wife's motion for reargument of the July 31, 2017 order. The Family Court: (i) granted in part the Wife's motion for reargument; (ii) granted in part the Husband's motion for reargument as to the ancillary order; (iii) denied the Husband's motion for reargument as to the child support order; (iv) denied the Husband's motion for relief from judgment under Rules 60(b)(3) ...


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