Professional degrees are not marital property.
Robert Sidney Guy, Jr. (hereinafter Rob) and Audra Marian Guy (hereinafter Audra) were married May 14, 1994. However, 3 years later, the couple was awarded a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. In the final judgment of divorce, the chancellor valued plaintiff's nursing degree and credited that value to her portion of the marital assets because her husband testified that he helped support her while she obtained her degree. Audra filed a Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, or, alternatively, for Relief from Judgment which the Chancellor denied. Audra appealed.
Can a professional degree be considered marital property?
The court held that professional degrees are not marital property. In the present case, Audra's nursing degree is not marital property. Her nursing license is not a chattel, which can be divided or assigned. Rob may not share in it. The nursing degree and license may only be issued to a qualified holder. The court did not intend "property" in the sense of "marital property" to include intellectual or technical mental enhancement gained during the course of a marriage. However, the court also found that Rob, as the supporting spouse, was entitled to compensation, upon proper proof, for the amount he contributed to Audra's attainment of her degree.