In a divorce action, a jury awarded to the wife the marital residence, personal property, two automobiles, and funds in various accounts. The husband was awarded two automobiles, personal property, and all accounts in his name. The trial court granted the husband's motion for a new trial as to equitable division of the marital residence only. We granted the wife's application for discretionary appeal to determine the appropriateness of this order.
provides, in part:
"[A]fter a verdict has been received and recorded and the jury has been dispersed, it may not be amended in matter of substance either by what the jurors say they intended to find or otherwise."
We must assume that the allocation of resources, under the scheme adopted by the jury in its verdict, was based upon the jury's expectation that no party would be required to pay litigation costs incurred by the other party. The trial court's award of a substantial sum in litigation expenses to the wife worked a change "in matter of substance" of the jury's allocation of resources between the parties. Accordingly, the case must be remanded for a new trial. [Id. at 717.]
2. Applying the reasoning of Stone, supra, we hold that the trial court should not have granted a new trial on a sole issue of equitable division. The motion must be granted or denied. 1
If it is granted, all issues of the allocation of economic resources must be determined de novo.
Joyner & Joyner, Gail Tusan Joyner, for appellee.