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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37846
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My dissolution agreement states the equity in the marital residence

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My dissolution agreement states the equity in the marital residence is defined as the appraised value minus the 1st mortgage payoff & home equity loan payoff. We were divorced in July 2008, and at that time my ex was living in the marital residence and she had let it go into foreclosure. The court found that she owed me money for what I paid to rescue the home from foreclosure, and in a 2009 order gave her credit from her equity part in the home, the appraised value minus the 1st mortgage payoff, to help cover some of what she owed me. I was given the option to buy the home, and because of the foreclosure she caused, it took me up until last May to be able to refinance the home due to the beating my credit took. The home equity loan portion of her obligation was never dealt with previously, or factored in, as required by the agreement. I had to finally pay off the large home equity balance on my own, last august, as she wouldn't cooperate, and it was hurting my credit score. and now my new attorney is telling me she may not owe me for the home equity loan at all, as courts usually deal with this issue during the divorce proceedings, and she keeps telling me it must have already been dealt with, even though I know it wasn't, & the opposing counsel has no proof it ever was. She was given credits for the equity in the house, and i feel it's only fair that the court now hold her liable for her 1/2 of the home equity loan. What's your opinion. Thanks, Dan

An appealable order that grants relief to a party is "the law of the case" once the time to appeal expires. Even if the order/judgment was wrongfully entered, as long as the court still had jurisdiction to make the order, then it's enforceable. So, the question is whether or not your final judgment of divorce made a complete disposition of the property If yes, then a subsequent judgment would be voidable by the impaired party on motion. However, if you paid money to your ex in reliance on the judgment/order, then you have grounds for reimbursement of that money from her, to compensate for the unjust enrichment. This is an order that a court could make to undo its former error in order to restore the status quo that existed prior to that second order.

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