Leroy and Mynell Gassaway married in 1952. They separated in 1979.
In their DC divorce, the trial court divided marital property upon consideration of the fact that Leroy’s mother owned a house and that Leroy was the only heir and would inherit the property. After all, “opportunities for the future acquisition of assets” is one of the factors a judge must consider in dividing martial property.
On appeal, however, the court said this was not an equitable way to divide property.
In Mumma v. Mumma, 280 A.2d 73, 76 (D.C. 1971), this court ruled that gifts to the husband from his parents could not be considered in determining his income for purposes of computing his alimony obligation, presumably, because any expectation of gifts is inherently speculative and thus could not be counted upon as a predictable portion of the husband’s annual financial return. Accord Scott v. Scott, 645 S.W. 2d 193, 198 (Mo. Ct. App. 1982) (despite history of gifts to wife from parents, court property declined to consider “such an uncertain source of funds as future gifts” in computing her alimony award). The same reasoning is applicable to anticipated gifts of real property or other assets, e.g., though inheritance.
The court recognized decisions from some courts ruling otherwise, but rejected this approach as “mischievous”.
– Gassaway v. Gassaway, 489 A.2d 1073 (D.C. 1985)