from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Robert W.
Freese, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 32D01-1709-DN-552
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Monty K. Woolsey Carmel, Indiana
Andrew R. Bloch Carmel, Indiana
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE William O. Harrington Danville, Indiana
Shaun Perrill ("Husband") filed this interlocutory
appeal after the trial court concluded there was no
enforceable premarital agreement (the "Agreement")
between Husband and Brandy Perrill ("Wife"). We
reverse and remand.
Husband raises several issues on appeal, which we consolidate
and restate as:
I. Whether the trial court erred in concluding there was no
meeting of the minds between the parties to form an
II. Whether the trial court erred in failing to admit
testimony regarding Wife's excluded property.
III. Whether the trial court erred in concluding the
Agreement was unconscionable.
Husband and Wife met in 2000 when they were both students at
Purdue University. Wife graduated in 2001, and Husband
graduated in 2002. Husband and Wife began living together in
2002. The couple eventually moved to Hendricks County in
Husband began working at Matrix Label Systems, one of his
family's businesses. Wife began working at Hendricks
College Network and is now the executive director. At some
point early in the couple's relationship, Husband
mentioned to Wife that he would be interested in having Wife
sign a premarital agreement if the couple were to marry.
Husband's family had several family businesses that
Husband sought to protect. The couple were engaged to be
married in 2005, and they married in 2008.
Shortly before Husband's and Wife's wedding day in
October 2008, Husband presented Wife with the Agreement. Wife
asked an attorney to review the Agreement for her. Wife
testified that she only saw one version of the Agreement,
which was the version that she signed. Wife claims she
did not make any changes to the Agreement before she signed.
Wife also testified that, as part of the Agreement, she was
asked to provide a list of property that would be identified
as her excluded property in the event the couple divorced.
The Agreement consisted of three main parts. The first
section is the main portion of the Agreement, which covers
nine pages, and includes the signature of both parties and
the notary. In this portion of the Agreement, Husband and
Wife agreed that each would:
retain the value of certain of [his or her] own individual
assets and property that [he or she] now owns or later
receives as a gift or inheritance, including any increase in
the value of such property, . . . the same as though [he or
she] were not married and free from any control, interest,
claim or right whatsoever of the other Party whether growing
out of the marital relationship or by reason of death.
App. Vol. II p. 151. This section defines Husband's
excluded property as follows:
In the case of Husband, Excluded Property shall mean and
include all of the common stock or ownership units or other
such ownership interests in and of Compatible Technologies,
LLC owned by Husband and shall also mean and include the
membership or ownership interests of Moon Limited
Partnership, now owned by Husband or received in the future
by Husband, and any income, dividends, increase or decrease
in value, or proceeds thereof, including any increase in the
value of such shares, membership, or other ownership
interests, or arising under the terms of Husband's
employment with compatible Technologies, LLC or Moon Limited
Partnership as now in effect or as hereafter agreed,
provided, however, that Husband's salary from Compatible
Technologies, LLC shall not constitute Excluded Property.
Husband's Excluded Property shall also include any
property acquired with Excluded Property. Husband's
Excluded Property shall also include any gifts or
inheritances later received from his family.
Id. at 152-53. The next part of the Agreement is
"Exhibit A," which is defined in the main Agreement
as Wife's "financial and asset information" as
well as Wife's "excluded property."
Id. at 152. Finally, the third part of the Agreement
is "Exhibit B," which is defined as Husband's
"financial and asset information." Id.
Wife asked Rebecca Cotney to serve as a notary for purposes
of executing the Agreement. Cotney's signature notarizing
the Agreement indicates that both Exhibit A and Exhibit B
were included with the Agreement. Husband testified that,
after he and Wife signed the Agreement, he placed the
Agreement in a fire-proof filing cabinet.
After Husband filed a petition to dissolve the marriage on
September 13, 2017, Wife filed a motion to determine the
enforceability of the couple's Agreement on March 7,
2018. Wife testified to the foregoing facts and her
uncertainty regarding the Agreement she actually signed. Wife
does not recall if she received a copy of the Agreement at
its execution. The next time Wife recalls seeing the
Agreement after its execution was in 2017 when this matter
began. Wife noticed, however, that when she received a copy
of the Agreement in 2017, it did not appear to be the same
Agreement she signed because her Exhibit A was not attached.
Instead, there was another document titled "Exhibit
A" which appeared to list items belonging to Husband,
and no Exhibit B was attached. ("Version 1").
On November 1, 2017, Wife sent Husband a request for
production of documents, requesting that Husband produce a
complete copy of the executed Agreement. In response to the
requests, Husband produced another version of the Agreement,
which did not include a page entitled Exhibit A. In this
version, Husband's excluded items list was attached as
Exhibit B ("Version 2"). This Exhibit B was
slightly different than the exhibit produced in Version 1.
Wife testified that she prepared Exhibit A and gave it to
Husband; however, at the hearing, Wife did not recall the
items she included on Exhibit A. On the other hand, Husband
stated that he "[did] not recall [Wife] giving [him]
[E]xhibit A." Tr. Vol. III p. 56. Husband stated that he
was aware when the parties signed the Agreement that Exhibit
A was not attached. Husband did not believe that Wife prepared
an Exhibit A because, according to Husband, Wife did not own
any property of value at the time.
After an evidentiary hearing on the issue, the trial court
entered its findings of fact and conclusions of law on May 3,
2018, and concluded, in relevant part,
31. Sometime on or after October 16, 2008, Wife prepared an
Exhibit "A" list of what Wife wanted to be her
"Excluded Property" under the Antenuptial Agreement
. . . . In addition, Wife delivered Wife's Exhibit
'A' List of Excluded Property to Husband.
** * * *
36. Wife understood and intended that she executed the
Executed Antenuptial Agreement with Wife's Exhibit