APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 2009-12158, DIVISION " E" . Honorable Clare Jupiter, Judge.
Bernadette R. Lee, Edith H. Morris, Suzanne Ecuyer Bayle, MORRIS LEE & BAYLE, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.
Marc D. Winsberg, Robin Penzato Arnold, Jonathan D. Gamble, WINSBERG & ARNOLD, LLC, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.
(Court composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu, Judge Rosemary Ledet).
Madeleine M. Landrieu,
[2014-0104 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] This appeal involves a dispute over certain reimbursement claims and the proceeds from the sale of real property. The property, which is located at 16 Shoal Creek Drive in New Orleans, Louisiana, was the marital home of Mr. Andrew de Klerk and Ms. Louise de Klerk. Mr. de Klerk appeals the trial court's judgment (1) finding that he and Ms. de Klerk were co-owners of the property, (2) denying certain reimbursement claims made by him and (3) granting certain reimbursement claims in favor of Ms. de Klerk. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
Mr. and Ms. de Klerk came to New Orleans in 1979 from South Africa in order for Mr. de Klerk to attend Tulane Law School and obtain an L.L.M. in Maritime Law. They were unmarried at the time, but were married in New Orleans the following year. At that time, they entered into an " ante nuptial contract" opting out of the community property regime. After Mr. de Klerk's graduation from Tulane, the de Klerks returned to South Africa. They moved back [2014-0104 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] to New Orleans in 1982 and remained here throughout their marriage. Upon returning to New Orleans, the parties executed a second marriage contract, again opting out of the community property regime. During their twenty-nine year marriage, Mr. de Klerk supported the family through the practice of law and Ms. de Klerk took care of their home and had primary responsibility for the care and raising of the couple's two children.
Mr. and Ms. de Klerk purchased the Shoal Creek Drive property on May 3, 1993, with funds from the sale of the de Klerk's previous home and Mr. de Klerk's earnings from his law practice. Both Mr. and Ms. de Klerk were listed as sellers on the Settlement Statement of their previous home, and both were listed as borrowers on the Settlement Statement for their Shoal Creek home.
Ms. de Klerk filed for divorce in November of 2009, and a judgment of divorce was rendered on August 31, 2010. Ancillary to the divorce proceeding, the trial court found that the marriage contracts were valid and enforceable and, therefore, no community property existed between the parties. Ms. de Klerk
filed supervisory writs to this court and the Louisiana Supreme Court; both of
denied.de Klerk v. de Klerk, 11-0831 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/27/2011) (unpub.), writ denied, 11-2617 ...