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In Re the Marriage of Georgianne Black Stanzler and Peter M. v. Peter M. Stanzler

February 22, 2011

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF GEORGIANNE BLACK STANZLER AND PETER M. STANZLER. GEORGIANNE BLACK STANZLER, RESPONDENT,
v.
PETER M. STANZLER, APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. FL06455)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz ,j.

Marriage of Stanzler CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In this marital property appeal, appellant Peter M. Stanzler (Peter)*fn1 contends the trial court erroneously denied his motion to set aside the oral settlement agreement on which the judgment was based. Peter claims that his former wife, Georgianne Black Stanzler (Georgianne), inadequately disclosed, under the marital property disclosure requirements (Fam. Code, § 2100 et seq.),*fn2 that she had paid Peter a community property advance with community property, thereby shortchanging him $45,000. Finding no abuse of discretion on the trial court's part, we shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Peter and Georgianne married in 1989 and separated in early 2006. They have one daughter, born in 1992.

After they separated in 2006, Georgianne paid Peter $100,000 as a community property advance, and Peter moved out of the family home in Davis. This advance was the subject of a July 2006 letter from Georgianne's former attorney to Peter's attorney, which stated that "Georgiann[e] is utilizing the credit line on the home for much of the money that she is paying Peter, and will bear the increased mortgage cost, and any liability solely as her own." This advance was also the subject of an August 2006 written stipulation between the parties and accompanying order filed with the court, which stated in part: "It is agreed and understood that this $100,000 payment is an advance payment from [Georgianne] to [Peter] for [Peter's] portion of the community estate, which includes, but is not limited to the family residence."

Georgianne had substantial separate property assets, but she obtained a home equity loan on the family residence from Wells Fargo Bank to pay $90,000 of the $100,000 advance. Peter and Georgianne already had another home equity loan on the family residence from Wells Fargo Bank, with a balance of around $160,000.

In two "Income and Expense Declaration" forms sent to Peter, as required under the marital property disclosure laws (§§ 2100, subd. (c), 2104, subd. (e), 2105, subd. (b)(4)), one dated September 2006 and the other January 2007, Georgianne described these two home equity loans as follows:

"[Item No.] 14. Installment payments and debts not listed above[:]

"Wells Fargo Bank Equity[ ]line . . . $159,933.49 [balance][;]

"Wells Fargo Bank SmartFit loan . . . $90,000 [balance]."

In July 2007, the parties were proposing settlements. In a letter dated July 24, 2007, Georgianne's attorney wrote to Peter's attorney, stating: "The parties have agreed to sell the [family] home for $650,000. . . . [Peter] will receive one-half of the community share [from this sale] less the $100,000 that he received as an early payment from his community share of the property." Peter's attorney responded with a letter of his own on July 24, 2007, stating: "[I]n this case, [Georgianne] took $90,000 of the equity from the ...


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