Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Although she agrees that I did indeed save that money, she says that because I saved the money, it could have gone to things for the both of us, so she is entitled to half. She's giving me nothing but divoce papers. I recently left my job of 18 years to concentrate on our marriage even though she said she couldn't commit to it. So I really could use all the money.
Brian,Thank you fr your follow-up. Technically she would not be entitled to half but she would be entitled to an 'equitable' portion of the benefits. Please allow me to show you how to calculate it (so you can judge for yourself whether or not her demands are valid or not).Indiana is an 'equitable distribution' state. That means assets are split not 50/50 but fairly and equitably, and those that earn the assets generally have a greater interest in the asset. It also means that assets earned before marriage are separate and sole property. What she would have an interest in is an 'equitable' share in any growth in value between the date of marriage and today. If you have an account that when you married her was at $50,000 and is now at $90,000, the $40,000 growth is an equitable interest that both spouses have a right to. That is the asset that she can legitimately demand some part of, even if she may have been at fault for the break-up. She is not simply entitled to half, and as this is an 'equitable' share rather than a direct share, you can offer her less. By the same token she would be entitled to an equitable portion of your 401K and other joint assets, and you in return would have the same interest in her assets if she has any. By calculating your assets in this manner, and calculating her accounts, you can now create a fairly reasonable estimate of value and whether or not her demands are reasonable or not (I am putting aside the fault here, by 'reasonable' I mean if the courts would uphold it based on state law).Hope that helps.
Pretty much what I thought, but was hoping that because of this affair, I have had my life drastically changed through no fault of my own and the one who cheats walks away with the brass ring. Thanks for your answer.
Brian,You are most welcome, truly. Examples of adultery do not really take away someone's property rights--it may affect alimony or spousal support, but not property that is technically theirs already. Good luck to you and please let me know if I can assist you in any other way. Otherwise, if satisfied with my work, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!