District Court, Ogden Department The Honorable W. Brent West
B. Richards, Brandon R. Richards, and Christopher Hill,
Attorneys for Appellant
L. Booher, Julie J. Nelson, and Laura M. Rasmussen, Attorneys
Ryan M. Harris authored this Opinion, in which Judges Michele
M. Christiansen Forster and Jill M. Pohlman concurred.
After their divorce in 2008, Craig Hosking was ordered to pay
alimony to Erin Jo Chambers. In 2012, suspecting that
Chambers might be cohabiting with a new boyfriend, Hosking
asked the district court to terminate his alimony obligation.
After holding a two-day evidentiary hearing, the district
court determined that Chambers was indeed cohabiting, and
granted Hosking's petition. Chambers appeals, and asks us
to consider two issues. First, she asserts that the district
court's cohabitation determination was unsupported.
Second, she contends that the district court failed to
address certain other issues pertaining to the division of
property in the decree of divorce. We affirm.
Because the two issues Chambers raises are grounded in
different underlying facts, we set forth the facts relevant
to each issue separately, in turn.
Chambers and Hosking married in 1997 and divorced in 2008. As
part of the decree of divorce, the court ordered Hosking to
pay Chambers alimony of $8, 000 per month for three years,
then $7, 000 per month for four additional years. Alimony
would cease after seven years, or "upon the death of
either party, or upon the re-marriage or co-habitation of
In 2011, after making alimony payments for more than three
years, Hosking ran across an obituary that described Chambers
as the spouse of the deceased's brother. His interest
piqued, Hosking hired two private investigators to determine
whether Chambers was cohabiting. One of the private
investigators surveilled Chambers and her boyfriend
(Boyfriend) daily from August to November 2011, and again
during late December 2011 and early January 2012. The other
private investigator surveilled Chambers's Ogden
residence daily for seventeen days in March 2012. In May
2012, after examining the results of the surveillance,
Hosking filed a petition to terminate alimony, alleging that
Chambers was cohabiting with Boyfriend.
In 2015, the court held a two-day evidentiary hearing to
consider Hosking's petition. Hosking introduced testimony
from the two private investigators, and also presented
documentary evidence obtained during discovery from Chambers
and from Boyfriend, including bank statements, credit card
statements, insurance policies, and other financial records.
The investigators testified that Boyfriend owned a
condominium in Provo, and traveled often for work, but that
he spent the majority of his non-traveling time at
Chambers's residence in Ogden rather than at his condo in
The first investigator testified that, between late August
and early November 2011, Boyfriend spent twenty-four nights
at Chambers's residence and only fifteen nights in Provo.
The investigator observed that Boyfriend traveled frequently
for work and would return to the Ogden residence after
traveling. He also observed that Boyfriend often drove three
vehicles, each of which was regularly parked at the Ogden
residence. Boyfriend drove one of those vehicles-later
determined to belong to Chambers-not only to his job in
Provo, but to the airport where he left it for several days
while apparently on a trip to Hawai'i. The investigator
also testified that Boyfriend stayed at the Ogden residence
continuously from December 19 to 27, and again during the
first weekend of January 2012. The investigator also
testified that, during the entire period of surveillance,
Boyfriend regularly attended church with Chambers in Ogden.
He also observed that Boyfriend's parents took care of
the Ogden residence while Chambers and Boyfriend were out of
town. On a separate occasion, the investigator observed
Chambers take care of a house owned by a member of
The second investigator surveilled the Ogden residence for
seventeen days in March 2012. He testified that he observed
Boyfriend stay at the Ogden residence for thirteen of those
nights, and that the house was empty the remaining four
nights. He also testified that Boyfriend helped with yard
work and household chores, and attended church with Chambers
in Ogden. He testified that he observed the same three cars
observed by the first investigator parked regularly at the
Ogden residence, and that Boyfriend regularly drove all three
cars. Moreover, he testified that two of these cars were
registered to Chambers and Boyfriend jointly. He also
testified that Boyfriend appeared to have independent access
to the house, stating as follows: "He could come and go
from the front door. He could come and go from the garage
doors. He could come and go and leave the home at will. He
didn't need help from anybody. Never knocked on a door.
Never stood outside and made a phone call."
During this time period, Chambers was attempting to sell the
residence, and the second investigator posed as a potential
homebuyer in order to gain access to the interior of the
house. While inside the house, the investigator observed
men's clothing in the closet of the master bedroom that
matched the type of clothing that he observed Boyfriend
wearing during his surveillance. He also observed men's
grooming products, including shaving cream and men's
shampoo, in the master bathroom.
The financial records presented by Hosking indicated that
Chambers and Boyfriend owned two vehicles together and held
five joint insurance policies. In addition, the records
demonstrated that Chambers and Boyfriend had a joint bank
account and frequently transferred various sums of money to
each other, including large amounts up to $30, 000. The two
had applied for a mortgage on the Ogden residence together,
first in 2008, and again in 2012. On the 2008 application,
Boyfriend listed his Provo address as his residence, but on
the 2012 application he indicated that he had lived at the
Ogden residence for a year.
Chambers and Boyfriend disputed Hosking's
characterization of their living arrangements. Both testified
that Boyfriend lacked independent access to the house, did
not keep any clothes in the house, and did not meaningfully
contribute to household expenses. Both testified that
Boyfriend kept his Provo condo as his primary residence and
only occupied the Ogden home infrequently and as a guest.
Both testified that Boyfriend occasionally spent the night in
Ogden because Chambers was afraid of the private
investigators-whom Chambers and Boyfriend had noticed
loitering near the residence-and that Boyfriend would often
sleep in his car in front of the house. And both
characterized the various transfers of money between
themselves as loans with repayment obligations.
Chambers's mother testified at trial, acknowledging that
Chambers and Boyfriend had a very close relationship, and
that at the time of a pretrial deposition, she did not know
whether Chambers and Boyfriend were married or not. Chambers
herself testified that she and Boyfriend became engaged in
2012 and remained so, but at the time of the 2015 hearing had
not yet set a wedding date. Chambers admitted to having a
sexual relationship with Boyfriend and frequently traveling
with him. She also acknowledged that she and Boyfriend
attended church and other ...