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Siewert v. Siewert

February 8, 2005

IN RE MARCUS LEROY SIEWERT, PETITIONER, APPELLANT,
v.
JANET MARIE SIEWERT, RESPONDENT.



Wabasha County District Court File No. F3-01-212.

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

An antenuptial agreement is invalid and unenforceable if it is not witnessed by two persons other than the parties to the agreement, as required by Minn. Stat. § 519.11, subd. 2 (2002).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Willis, Judge

Reversed and remanded

OPINION

Appellant challenges the district court's interpretation and application of the antenuptial agreement executed by him and respondent. Respondent, by notice of review, challenges both the district court's determination that the antenuptial agreement was valid and its application of the agreement to certain properties awarded to appellant as non-marital property. Because the district court erred by determining that the antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, we reverse and remand.

FACTS

Appellant Marcus LeRoy Siewert and respondent Janet Marie Siewert, now known as Janet Holst (Holst), were married on July 16, 1982. Four days before they were married, the parties signed an antenuptial agreement, which was also signed and notarized by the lawyer who drafted the agreement. No other witnesses signed the agreement.

Siewert filed a petition on April 12, 2001, for dissolution of the marriage. Holst challenged the enforceability of the antenuptial agreement, and in July and August 2002, the parties appeared before the district court for an evidentiary hearing to determine that issue. In November 2002, the district court determined that the antenuptial agreement was a valid and legally binding contract. A dissolution trial was held in the spring of 2003 before a second district court judge, and judgment was filed on September 16, 2003. Siewert moved for a new trial or, in the alternative, for amended findings and conclusions of law. The district court filed an amended judgment in March 2004. The district court divided the parties' property in accordance with its reading of the antenuptial agreement. This appeal follows.

ISSUE

Did the district court err by determining that the antenuptial agreement at issue was valid and enforceable?

ANALYSIS

Holst claims that the antenuptial agreement here is invalid because it was not executed in accordance with statutory requirements. Siewert argues that because Holst's notice of review only identifies the orders for judgment entered on September 16, 2003, and on March 9, 2004, she failed to preserve for appeal the issue of the validity of the antenuptial agreement; ...


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