JIMMIE B. ALLRED
PASSAPORN P. ALLRED
Circuit Court for Howard County Case No.: 13-C-14-098841.
Nazarian, Wells, Adkins, Sally D. (Senior Judge, Specially
ADKINS, SALLY D., J.
bullish stock market is the genesis for this appeal, which
involves interpretation of a Marital Settlement Agreement
("Settlement Agreement") between Jimmie B. Allred
("Husband"), appellant and Passaporn P. Allred
("Wife"), appellee. The dispute is what amount of
the post-divorce appreciation in Husband's 401(k) stock
account should be shared by Wife.
parties were married on October 15, 2004 and divorced on July
30, 2014. The Judgment of Absolute Divorce directed that the
provisions of the Settlement Agreement, which was signed on
April 2, 2013, were incorporated by reference, but not
merged, into the judgment. The judgment reserved jurisdiction
for the receipt and entry of any order necessary "to
effectuate the intent of the parties as expressed in their
agreement." Paragraph 6R of the Settlement Agreement
addressed disposition of what the parties, and we, shall
refer to as the "Principal 401(k)":
Husband is the owner of a Principal EDO 401(k)
("Principal 401(k)") with an approximate marital
value of $293, 889.00. The parties agree that Wife will
receive from the Principal 401(k) the sum of $181, 667.00
plus or minus investment experience, dating
from March 1, 2013 to the date of Judgment of
Divorce. The parties agree that Husband will receive
the balance. The parties agree that this transfer will be
pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Order or Court Order
Acceptable for Processing, as needed and that they will each
pay one-half the cost necessary to secure this Order.
Settlement Agreement contained "the entire understanding
of the parties" and they concurred that "[n]o
modification or waiver of any of [its] terms shall be valid
unless made in writing, and signed by the parties . . .
." The parties also agreed to "execute such
documents and perform such acts as may be required to
effectuate the purposes of [Paragraph 6R]." Divorce was
granted on July 30, 2014.
the judgment of divorce was entered, counsel for Wife
prepared a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
("QDRO") to transfer Wife's interest from
Husband's Principal 401(k). Husband's attorney
disagreed that wife was entitled to "investment
experience" for any period after the divorce and
requested several times that the QDRO be amended to provide
that the investment experience be allowed only until the date
of divorce, as called for in the Settlement Agreement.
Wife's attorney did not agree.
than three years later, on October 3, 2017, Wife filed a
Complaint for Entry of Qualified Domestic Relations Order
with the circuit court, asking for "investment
experience" on her share of the 401(k) after the date of
divorce. In his answer, Husband contended that he, not Wife,
was entitled to investment experience after the date of
divorce. The circuit court ruled in favor of Wife, saying:
[Wife] is entitled to her share of the 401(k) proceeds as
described in the parties' Marital Settlement Agreement,
as well as any and all investment experience attributable to
her share since the date of the divorce. Conceptually,
[Wife's] share is separate as of the date of divorce, and
any interest (or losses) attributable to [Wife's] share
are [Wife's] property, and are not the property of
parties were ordered to submit a Qualified Domestic Relations
Order reflecting the above terms. Husband appealed to this
questions presented are as follows:
1. Did the lower court err by altering gains and losses
beyond the terms of the parties' marital separation
2. Did the lower court abuse its discretion when the judgment
for absolute divorce was modified without demonstrating ...