In re the Marriage of: Thomas Erle Tornstrom, petitioner, Respondent,
Jennifer Lynn Tornstrom, n/k/a Jennifer Lynn Klemenhagen, Appellant.
County District Court File No. 28-FA-14-911.
K. Parke, Laura J. Seaton, Bosshard Parke, Ltd., La Crosse,
Wisconsin (for respondent)
Lawrence, Dittrich & Lawrence, P.A., Rochester, Minnesota
Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Schellhas,
Judge; and Bjorkman, Judge.
husband and wife consent to a mediated settlement agreement
under Minn. Stat. § 518.619, subd. 7 (2014), and agree
that it will be submitted to and enforced by the district
court before it is reduced to a signed marital-termination
agreement (MTA) by orally recording the terms of the
settlement and acknowledging their intent to form a binding
terms of a mediated settlement agreement may be incorporated
into a dissolution judgment and decree and enforced by the
district court where the parties had a meeting of the minds
on its essential terms and the agreement was supported by
the marital-dissolution judgment, appellant-wife challenges
the terms of a mediated settlement agreement incorporated
into the judgment and decree and enforced by the district
court. Wife argues that the judgment is invalid because: (1)
the mediated settlement agreement was not reduced to an MTA
that was signed by both parties before it was presented to
the district court, and (2) the settlement is not an
enforceable agreement. Because the parties orally recorded
their agreement to the terms of the settlement, acknowledged
their intent to form a binding agreement, and the settlement
is supported by consideration, we affirm.
October 2014, respondent-husband Thomas Erle Tornstrom
petitioned for dissolution of his marriage to appellant-wife
Jennifer Lynn Tornstrom. At the time the petition was filed,
the parties had two minor children.
February 2015, the district court filed temporary orders
granting the parties joint legal and joint physical custody
and ordering husband to pay wife temporary spousal
maintenance and child support. It also ordered the parties to
undergo a custody evaluation. Five months later, the custody
evaluator submitted his evaluation to the district court. The
custody evaluation recommended that husband be awarded sole
legal custody and sole physical custody of the children,
subject to wife's reasonable parenting time.
September 25, 2015, the parties, along with counsel, met with
a mediator. After eight hours, the parties reached a global
settlement. The parties orally confirmed the terms of their
agreement, which the mediator tape recorded. The parties
agreed that husband would have sole legal and sole physical
custody of the children, and wife would have parenting time
two weeknights after school and every other weekend. During
the summer, wife would parent the children for alternating
three-day weekends, overnight every Wednesday, and for three
non-consecutive weeks. The parties agreed that wife would not
pay husband child support and that husband would not pay wife
parties also agreed to a property settlement where wife was
awarded sole ownership of her 403(b) plan and a portion of
husband's 401K. Husband was awarded the marital homestead
and agreed to pay wife an additional property settlement. The
parties agreed ...