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Castro v. Castro

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 17, 2013

Maria Castro, Petitioner/Appellant,
v.
Antonio Castro, Respondent/Appellee.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Law Offices of Jose De La Luz Martinez, PLLC, Phoenix By Jose De La Luz Martinez Counsel for Petitioner/Appellant

Judge Kenton D. Jones delivered the decision of the Court, in which Acting Presiding Judge Patricia K. Norris and Chief Judge Diane M. Johnsen joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Kenton D. Jones, Judge

¶1 Appellant, Maria D. Castro (Wife), appeals from the order of the trial court on the dissolution of her marriage to Appellee, Antonio Castro (Husband). [1] Wife challenges the trial court's exclusion of some of her exhibits as well as the trial court's rulings regarding the valuation of certain real property, Husband's parenting time, and Wife's spousal maintenance. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Wife and Husband were married in 1997. They have three children, two of whom are minors. At the time of the proceedings, the couple owned five pieces of real property: the marital home in Yuma, Arizona; a parcel of property in Algodones, Mexico; a lot in San Felipe, Mexico; a house in Michoacan, Mexico; and a lot in Michoacan, Mexico.

¶3 A trial was held on Monday, June 25, 2012. When Wife sought to introduce one of her exhibits, Husband objected on the grounds that it was hearsay and untimely disclosed. Husband asserted that he did not receive any of Wife's exhibits until Friday, June 22, and that the exhibits were time-stamped as having been filed at 8:42 p.m. Wife acknowledged that the exhibits were not provided until Friday, but asserted that they had been submitted before 5:00 p.m., noting that the time stamp was that of the court clerk, which closed at 5:00 p.m., and not that of the night depository. Wife suggested the proper time of submission was 4:42 p.m. and therefore the 8:42 p.m. stamp was a mistake. Husband's counsel stated she was out of town on Friday and the documents were not received by her assistant, but that she discovered the documents had been put "through the door" when she visited her office on Saturday. [2] The trial court noted that, even if the exhibits were provided by 4:42 p.m. on Friday, they were still very late. Husband did not object to six of Wife's eleven exhibits, and those were admitted; the remaining exhibits were excluded.

¶4 Wife testified that she was not working and had been unsuccessful in her attempts to find employment, and that she was living on $499 in Social Security from Husband. She testified that she received AHCCCS benefits, but that the children did not, and asked the trial court to require Husband to pay for the children's health insurance.

¶5 Husband testified that he was sixty-nine years old and that he was still working but would like to retire soon, although he did not have retirement savings. He further testified that he received $1, 136 in Social Security, after payments to Wife and his children, and that his pay varied depending on his hours worked; in 2011, he had a gross income of $41, 140. Husband also testified that he would like his summer visitation with the children to take place during the entire month of July as well as Father's Day; Wife did not address this issue.

¶6 Both parties wanted the Yuma home. They agreed Husband should be awarded the property in Algodones and San Felipe, and Wife should be awarded the house and lot in Michoacan, but they differed in their valuations of the properties. Neither provided any appraisals. With regard to the Algodones property, Wife testified the couple bought the property for $29, 000 when it was an undeveloped lot, but that it had increased in value to $60, 000 because it was now a commercial lot that contained a structure. Husband testified that the Algodones property was purchased for about $26, 000 and currently contained an incomplete structure surrounded by a fence. He explained the property had a toilet but no kitchen and that a person could sleep there but could not live there because it lacked utilities. He valued the property at $25, 000.

¶7 As to the Michoacan house, Wife testified that the couple bought it for 400, 000 pesos, or $40, 000, and that it was now worth $70, 000. She stated the house was falling apart and leaked when it rained, but that she wanted to keep the property. Husband acknowledged that they paid $40, 000 for the property but testified that the house was a very pretty three-bedroom house that contained marble throughout and was centrally located in town. He asserted its value was $130, 000.

¶8 The trial court did not award child support because the Social Security benefits received by the children from Husband exceeded the amount of child support required by the Arizona Guidelines. The trial court granted Husband's request that he be given four weeks of parenting time in July and Father's Day in addition to weekend visits.

¶9 The trial court found the home in Yuma had a value of $120, 000 with equity of $60, 000 and awarded it to Husband. As a form of spousal maintenance, the trial court ordered Husband to pay the mortgage on the Yuma home for one year while Wife and the children resided there, after which Wife could live with the children in the house until the youngest child was eighteen years old, provided Wife timely paid the mortgage. In considering the spousal maintenance award pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 25-319(B) (2013), [3]the trial court found that the children received AHCCCS benefits. In addition to the Yuma property, the trial court awarded Husband the property in Algodones, Mexico, which the trial court valued at $25, 000 "based on husband's estimation, " and the lot in San Felipe, which the trial court valued at $15, 000 based on the average of the estimates provided. The trial court awarded Wife the house in Michoacan, with a value of $60, 000, which the trial court ...


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