Dvorak v. Dvorak - No. 20060050
Larry Dvorak appealed from an order directing payment of his interest in a trust to Irene Howard and Ward County Social Services for child support arrearages.
When Dvorak and Howard were divorced in 1993, Howard was awarded physical custody of the parties' four minor children and Dvorak was ordered to pay $400 per month in child support. In the intervening years, the parties engaged in additional litigation regarding child support and visitation. Dvorak claimed he had been disabled since shortly after the divorce and had insufficient income to make the $400 monthly payments. In 2003, an amended judgment was entered lowering Dvorak's child support obligation to $17 per month for the two remaining minor children.
Dvorak is the beneficiary of an irrevocable living trust established by his parents. On August 10, 2004, Dvorak attempted to assign his interest in the trust to Harold Dahl.
On March 8, 2005, a money judgment for $54,724.48 in accrued child support arrearages was entered against Dvorak. Shortly thereafter, a garnishment summons and notice was served upon Dvorak and the trustee of his parents' trust. The trustee thereafter deposited $36,332.84, representing Dvorak's available interest in the trust, with the district court.
On January 25, 2006, the district court issued findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order finding that Dvorak's attempt to assign his interest in the trust was void and directing the Minot Regional Child Support Enforcement Unit to prepare final documents ordering payment of the trust proceeds to Howard and Ward County Social Services. Before final documents were prepared, however, Dvorak filed a notice of appeal from the January 25, 2006, findings, conclusions, and order. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the district court for entry of a final order, and an order for payment of the trust proceeds was entered on May 4, 2006.
Dvorak argues the district court erred in finding that his attempted assignment of his interest in the trust was void, because the trustee had not been given notice of the child support arrearages before Dvorak assigned the interest to Dahl in August 2004. Dvorak also contends his child support should have been reduced in the 1990's due to his disability, and he therefore should not be held accountable for the full $54,000 arrearage.