The Appellate Group

McFarland v. McFarland

McFarland v. McFarland, 2024 UT App 31 (Harris, J.)


Nicole and Bruce divorced, and Bruce was awarded the family home. Eight years later, Nicole challenged the award. Under the doctrine of laches, the district court found Bruce suffered prejudice by the eight-year delay. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding in part: 

  • The court’s decision was supported by evidence in the record and should not be overturned. 
  • Notable development: Review of a district court’s determination of prejudice in the laches context is reviewed for abuse of discretion. 
  • Practice tip: Under Utah’s bad-faith attorney-fees statute, the district court must make specific findings that the opposing party’s claims are “without merit” and “not brought or asserted in bad faith.”

Read the full court opinion