Janet L. Helbling, Plaintiff and Appellee
Wayne T. Helbling, Defendant and Appellant
from the District Court of Morton County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Thomas J. Schneider, Judge.
Charles L. Chapman, Bismarck, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
Theresa L. Kellington, Bismarck, ND, for defendant and
1] Wayne Helbling appeals from an amended judgment providing
payment terms and security for his remaining obligations to
Janet Helbling under their original divorce judgment. We
conclude the district court did not err in concluding the
parties had not modified the divorce settlement agreement and
had not entered into an oral agreement to amend the judgment.
We further conclude the court did not err by failing to find
Janet Helbling was estopped from demanding payment of the
remaining balance and did not err in entering the amended
judgment containing an amortization schedule to pay his
remaining obligations over a ten-year period with interest.
2] In 2000, Janet Helbling and Wayne Helbling were married.
In 2013, Janet Helbling sued for divorce asserting grounds of
irreconcilable differences. Before trial, the parties
executed a divorce settlement agreement that distributed the
parties' marital property and debts. In September 2014, a
divorce judgment was entered on the basis of the parties'
agreement. Relevant to this appeal are paragraphs 15, 21, and
33 of the judgment, which state:
[¶15] REAL PROPERTY. The parties own two
residences together; to wit: one located at... Morton County,
North Dakota known as "the farmstead;" and the
other located at... Mandan, ND. Subject to payment as set
forth in Paragraph 21 below, the parties agree that Wayne
shall have full ownership of and responsibility for the
farmstead. As such, subject to payment as set forth in
Paragraph 21 below Wayne shall have all right, title,
interest, and equity, free and clear of any claim of the
farmstead on the part of Janet. Upon payment to her of the
sums of money out lined [sic] in paragraph 21, Janet will
issue a Quit Claim Deed, passing ownership of the above
property to Wayne. The parties agree that Janet shall have
full ownership of and responsibility for [street address of
Mandan residence]. As such, Janet shall have all right,
title, interest, and equity, free and clear of any claim on
the part of Wayne. Wayne agrees to issue a Quit Claim Deed,
passing ownership of the above property to Janet, within
thirty (30) days of the date a Judgment is issued in this
[¶21] PARTNERSHIP. Wayne shall be awarded all
interest in Helbling Bros Ranch as partner and Janet hereby
waives any claims she has to the Helbling Bros Ranch. Janet
shall receive $1, 000, 000.00 of and for payment of all
interest in the Helbling Bros Ranch and any and all other
property both real and personal granted to Wayne. The parties
agree that payment shall be made by Wayne to Janet as
a. $750, 000 within 60 days of entry of judgment. She will
then pay off the mortgage on [the Mandan residence].
b. $250, 000 when Wayne turns age 65. Wayne may pay this
early if he prefers. Janet will have a mortgage on [the
Morton County property] which shall be subordinated to the
loan Wayne will take out to pay her the initial payment.
Additionally, each year until she is paid in full, she shall
receive the rents from this parcel of land in an amount equal
to the average rent for Morton County land as set out by the
FSA North Dakota Land, Rent and Values publication.
c. If Wayne does not get financing for the initial payment,
the parties will either reach an agreement on how the $1,
000, 000 is to be paid and if they cannot do so the parties
will ask the court to determine the terms of payment. Each
would then be able to ...