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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 18361
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Complex cohabitation case.Began Cohabit 1993.Wedding ceremony

Customer Question

Complex cohabitation case.Began Cohabit 1993.Wedding ceremony June 1994.Son born 3/96.Represented selves to everyone as married.House JTWROS.Many financial and brokerage accts all JTWROS.All income comingled.Split 2006.1 lawyer to do docs.Expartner misrepresented our assets by ~$1,000,000.His estimate 2.5 mil.mine 3.5mil from actual documents I received 2008 when he returned my personal tax returns to me.Discovery of all docs took 3 years.He added passwords to accounts when we split so I had no access to accounts.I earned 21% of income.He gqave me $600,000 settlement, I figure it should have been $735,000.This not include our JT home or $200,000 improvements we made,personal property (much was mine before we met), my 10% ownership of his orthopedic practice. (this has never been changed, I still own it.)Agreement was not presented to any court.Do I have any recourse to redo this unfair, misrepresented agreement?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 4 years ago.

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Question: Complex cohabitation case.Began Cohabit 1993.Wedding ceremony June 1994.Son born 3/96.Represented selves to everyone as married.House JTWROS.Many financial and brokerage accts all JTWROS.All income comingled.Split 2006.1 lawyer to do docs.Expartner misrepresented our assets by ~$1,000,000.His estimate 2.5 mil.mine 3.5mil from actual documents I received 2008 when he returned my personal tax returns to me.Discovery of all docs took 3 years.He added passwords to accounts when we split so I had no access to accounts.I earned 21% of income.He gqave me $600,000 settlement, I figure it should have been $735,000.This not include our JT home or $200,000 improvements we made,personal property (much was mine before we met), my 10% ownership of his orthopedic practice. (this has never been changed, I still own it.)Agreement was not presented to any court.Do I have any recourse to redo this unfair, misrepresented agreement?

Optional Information:
State/Country relating to question: Arizona

Already Tried:
Discussed with ex and presented details of his errors and misrepresentations to no avail.Consulted attorneys.One wrote a complaint but it never got filed (2009)since we were also litigating child support.Another said Statute of lim. for fraud was 3 yrs in AZ. I consulted him 2 months before the 3 years from the date of the begining of my lenghty discovery.Contract law in AZ has SOL of 6 yrs. Couldn't the contract law be applicable?My discovery went from 2008-2011 to obtain all necessary docs.

Response: The Statute of Limitations on the fraud/misrepresentation has not run if you discovered this fraud in 2011 after the completion of your three-year discovery. The three-year Statute of Limitations would start to run from the time the fraud/misrepresentation is discovered. So, the Statute of Limitations started to run in 2011. Thus, you can pursue him on the ground of fraud/misrepresentation and then try to do undo the agreement and get something more reflective of your assets. See Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-543 subsection 3:

http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/12/00543.htm&Title=12&DocType=ARS

"

12-543. Oral debt; stated or open account; relief on ground of fraud or mistake; three year limitation

There shall be commenced and prosecuted within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions:

1. For debt where the indebtedness is not evidenced by a contract in writing.

2. Upon stated or open accounts other than such mutual and current accounts as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors or agents, but no item of a stated or open account shall be barred so long as any item thereof has been incurred within three years immediately prior to the bringing of an action thereon.

3. For relief on the ground of fraud or mistake, which cause of action shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake." (emphasis added by me).

The contract law is not applicable here because you are not alleging that he breached a contract, your co-habitation arrangement. Rather, you are alleging that he defrauded you in your settlement and you did not discover the facts constitution the fraud or misrepresentation until after the agreement, after you conducted discovery between 2008 and 2011.