Session May 20, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Hamilton County No. 17D1397 L.
Marie Williams, Judge
appeal arises from a divorce. Fiona Eischeid Flodin
("Wife") filed for divorce from Tan Scott Flodin
("Husband") in the Circuit Court for Hamilton
County ("the Trial Court"). Husband, in the latter
years of the marriage, was unemployed by his choice. Husband
asserted that he contributed by helping Wife with her real
estate business. Wife asserted that Husband's
contributions were minimal and that he refused to work
despite her urging him to get a job. After a trial, the Trial
Court entered an order finding, inter alia, that
Husband lived a life of leisure while Wife did the vast
majority of the work both for pay and at home. The Trial
Court found all the witnesses credible except Husband. The
Trial Court proceeded to award Husband around 38% of the
marital estate as well as six months of transitional alimony
at the rate of $2, 000 per month. Husband appealed. Husband
argues on appeal that the Trial Court erred in its valuation
of certain marital assets, in its division of the marital
estate, and in not awarding him more alimony than it did. We
find that the evidence does not preponderate against the
Trial Court's factual findings. The values adopted by the
Trial Court as to marital assets were within the range of
evidence presented. In addition, the Trial Court
appropriately considered the relevant factors in its
decisions regarding alimony and the marital estate. We
discern no abuse of discretion or other error by the Trial
Court. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
M. Jacobs, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tan Scott
Phillip C. Lawrence, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Fiona Eischeid Flodin.
Michael Swiney, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Charles D. Susano, Jr. and Thomas R. Frierson, II, JJ.,
MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE
and Wife, after dating for six years, were married in 2001.
No children were born of the marriage. Wife, originally a
bartender, went on to become a successful real estate agent.
Wife earns $186, 000 per year in her job. Wife also is
college-educated. Husband worked at a tile and granite
company at the beginning of the marriage. The most that
Husband ever earned while working there was around $35, 000.
In 2009, Husband was laid off. Husband asserts, as he has
throughout, that he contributed to the marriage by helping
Wife with her business. Wife's consistent position has
been that Husband's contributions were minimal and that
he refused to work despite her urging him to get a job.
either event, the marriage broke down. Shortly before the end
of the marriage, Husband became deeply upset upon discovering
that Wife had kissed another man. In June 2017, Wife filed
for divorce. Wife's brother thereafter came to live with
her and assist her. This case was tried in November of 2017.
Trial centered on the parties' respective contributions
to the marriage, the valuation of marital assets, as well as
Husband's prospects of making a living moving forward. We
proceed to review the pertinent testimony.
age 44, testified that she works as a real estate agent 10 to
12 hours a day, seven days a week. Regarding Husband's
work history, Wife testified as follows:
Q. All right. And so did Mr. Flodin work for Pinnacle and The
Tile Store for a period of time during the marriage?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What period was that?
A. Well, during -- he didn't -- he hasn't worked at
The Tile Store since -- ten years. Nine -- nine years.
A. They actually -- they put him on a commission only, and he
wasn't producing anything, and so they let him -- they
let him go.
Q. What year was that?
A. It was probably 2008.
Q. Okay. What work did he do after 2008?
A. Nothing to get paid for.
Q. All right. There's been a suggestion that he did
something in your business that was of value. What did he do
to assist you?
A. He would put up signs occasionally, go to the office, get
lock boxes, put in a check. When I shattered my heel, I
couldn't walk. I'd sit in the driveway and he would
open the door to people that I had introduced him to [sic] to
show the house because I was non-weightbearing.
Q. Well, how much time did this activity consume where he was
A. Maybe six hours a week. Maybe. Not even that. Sometimes
I'd even get my photographer to put up my signs or
I'd put up my signs. So not a lot. He doesn't know
how to turn on a computer, write a contract, get on the MLS.
When the Beck house was in operation, rental, I did every
single rental agreement on the computer. Printed off the
receipts. Wrote the receipts. Sent the people their
directions. Wrote it on the calendar. Did -- I mean, stack --
thousands of rental agreements in the 13 years that it was
owned. On top of my real estate.
Q. All right. In terms of what his activities were, he spent
-- would you say the six hours a week is an average or is
that the most or. . .
A. If he spent more -- or less time playing video games and
actually getting a license and helping me, it might have been
Q. Well, what did he do to occupy himself from the time he
quit working until now?
A. Played hours and hours of Call of Duty, video games,
watching Fox News, watching pornography. He would clean the
Beck house. That was his job, is what he's saying.
It's a two-bedroom house. It takes a maximum of two hours
to do it. And sometimes he would call me when I'm working
to come help him do it. He'd get my friends over to help
him clean. He'd wait to the last, knowing it was vacant
and that check in was coming in and he'd wait till the
day of, when he had four days to do it. And then complain
that it was completely dirty and trashed and -- when he had
days to clean that two-bedroom house.
Q. Now, what encouragement did you give him about getting a
A. I asked multiple times. I said, I'm tired. I'm
getting burned out. I'm sick of paying for everything. I
said, if you want to help, get your real estate license. This
was years ago. And he said, well, I didn't graduate high
school. I said well, then -- I didn't realize that at the
time. And I said, well, get your GED. Went and got a book. He
never opened it.
Q. Do you know of any job applications that he made after he
quit working in the tile business?
A. No, sir. He worked at another tile store very briefly for,
I think, a phone, but they -- that didn't last but a few
Q. What does he do on a daily basis? What is his routine?
A. He gets up; goes down to Mr. Zip and buys a 70 ounce diet
Coke; starts playing video games and watching Fox News.
He'll normally go to Krystal and get breakfast at
Krystal, like a biscuit and gravy or -- that's stuff I
don't like. We would go to lunch. I'd go back to
showing houses, doing what I do. He'd be -- sometimes
I'd come home for lunch and he'd be in bed. And
I'd hear the dogs barking so I knew he was in bed taking
a nap. And he said he needed to have a nap. I witnessed him
watching pornography. And the Fox News was on 20 -- all --
all the time. I couldn't stand it. He wouldn't go out
with me, so I would go out with my friends, because he
wouldn't never leave the house, basically.
age 51, took the stand. According to Husband, he and Wife
agreed that it would be better for him to help her with the
real estate business than for him to get a job, which was
"plan B." Husband contends that he played a major
role in building the marital residence, worked on the
parties' vacation rental property, and was a regular
"fixture" around Wife's office helping Wife.
Husband testified, in part:
Q. Okay. And what did Mrs. Flodin -- what was plan B to Mrs.
A. A job.
Q. Okay. And what was plan A?
A. Plan A for me was to develop these -- keep these
properties running and clean the vacation rental.
Q. Okay. At any point after 2010 did she tell you that we
needed to go to plan B, which is you entering the work force?
A. Yes. Off and on. Whenever it would get slow in the real
estate industry in her real estate business when she would
lose listings or sell everything she had, she would bring up
Q. And leading up to the separation in 2017, was that a topic
that was on the table that you needed to get a job and plan B
needed to go into play?
A. No. We hadn't really talked about it that much,
because I was so busy working on the house.
Q. Okay. All right. Why didn't you go back into the work
force after 2010?
A. Because it was in my belief that the money I was making or
was capable was making was more or less a wash in the form of
tax -- taxes. You know, we'd have to pay somebody over a
hundred dollars to clean the vacation rental each time, which
would defeat the purpose of having one in the beginning. And
she needed help showing houses and putting up signs, picking
them up, some of which were Soddy Daisy all the way to
Coalmont, Tennessee, down into LaFayette. She couldn't be
two places at one time. And we had pets and I had lawns to
mow, bushes to cut, pressure washing to do, decks to fix, you
know. That's why.
Q. How often would you have projects like fixing the deck
where you got paid by a third party between 2010 and 2017?
A. Where I got paid by a third party. There weren't any.
Q. Okay. And how often were you mowing lawns for money?
A. I didn't.
Q. Okay. There's been testimony about your consumption of
video games. On average how much video games did you play and
when would you play those games?
A. I would usually get up at 6:00, sometimes 5:00 in the
morning and play for two or three hours until she gave me an
assignment or I had some other work to do around the house,
like take the dogs to the vet or take myself to the doctor,
get the car washed so Fiona could show a house with it. I