Divorce and out of state Property

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Question is raised as to whether a divorce decree determining ownership or entitlement to out of state property is insurable.

Tangible Property Decrees affecting rights in tangible property, whether real or personal, located outside the state are not entitled to full faith and credit. See Fall v. Eastin, 215 U.S. 1, (1909).

In Fall v. Eastin, the Supreme Court of the United States held that a decree affecting the disposition of real property located in another state cannot operate CONFLICT OF LAWS §26.13 beyond the state in which jurisdiction is exercised and is not entitled to full faith and credit. The court did recognize, however, that a court may utilize whatever power it possesses by virtue of its exercise of personal jurisdiction over a party to give effect to its decree respecting property situated in another state.

Where both parties are personally before the court, the court, pursuant to its authority over the person and its power to compel compliance by means of contempt proceedings, may effect a transfer of property which is located in another state. Berry v. Berry, 620 S.W.2d 456 (Mo.App. E.D. 1981), stands for the proposition that a court exercising personal jurisdiction over the parties in a divorce action does not exceed its jurisdiction when it disposes of marital property situated outside the state by requiring in its decree that a party execute and deliver a deed conveying the marital property located in another state to the other party. See also Podschun v. Rice, 769 S.W.2d 441 (Mo.App. W.D. 1989), holding that a husband and wife holding title to Missouri realty as tenants by the entirety became tenants in common when one of them moved out of state and obtained a Colorado divorce decree; the remaining party had no contact with Colorado and therefore the Colorado court did not have jurisdiction to vest title to the Missouri property in either party.