PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The distribution of property involved in a Pennington County couple’s divorce should have been handled differently, according to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The justices on Thursday publicly released a decision in a consolidated case Farmer v Farmer.

The divorce court in January 2018 had valued the former couple’s remaining real estate at $870,150 and divided it equally with $435,075 allocated to each.

But the divorce court also decided James Farmer owed Lori Farmer $331,184.81 for his “contemptuous acts” and awarded Lori that additional amount.

Justice Patricia DeVaney wrote the unanimous opinion for the state’s high court. She drew a distinction between the proper roles of the divorce court and the collection court.

“Having now concluded that the divorce court erred in ordering the release of the funds, the proper disposition of the excess sale proceeds remains to be determined,” Justice DeVaney wrote.

The cases were returned to the circuit level for further action.