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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7113
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My ex-wife and I got married 6 years ago. We got married

Customer Question

My ex-wife and I got married 6 years ago. We got married just before I went to the middle-east. It was always understood that I would work overseas until I retired. While I was in Iraq during the first year of our marriage, we bought a 3 bedroom 3 bath townhouse. When I came back from Iraq she did not want to move overseas. After I supported her for a year she got a job as a middle school teacher. I got a job in Korea and she did not want to follow. After 3 years of arguing we divorced. The IRS put a lien against my house which was removed because the IRS is silly. I told Sheila that even though the contents of the house were $30,000 and the house was now worth twice it’s bought value that I would settle for $9000 the amount of money that I had in the bank when we met. We did not put the $9000 in our divorce paperwork as she said she might have to pay me in more than 1 installment. Naively, I agreed. 5 weeks ago I signed the deed to her and now she does not answer email or phone messages. The following email is all I have to prove that we had an agreement.
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Phoenix AZ
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: I have an email where she says she saysl...“Once the loan is refinanced, I will have the money for you. I still have the Navy Federal Credit Union account. I am positive that we can make some arrangements for a transfer of funds.”
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 5 months ago.
Was there a stipulated divorce decree, a marital settlement agreement? Or did the judge enter an order of dissolution (divorce) and the $9000 itself was not addressed but the house ownership was assigned to one party?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The $9000 was not addressed in the divorce decree.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
All I have is an email where she agrees to pay me when the title to the house is refinanced in her name.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 5 months ago.
Thank you; The only authority I could find for setting aside a decree is below (Rule 80) and it generally must be done within 6 months of the decree, if the basis for the relief is fraud. However, if the court determines that a reasonable person could not have discovered the fraud until a time past the stated period, it is possible that they will allow it, based on equity. C. Mistake; Inadvertence; Surprise; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud, etc.1. On motion and upon such terms as are just the court may relieve a party or a party's legal representative from a final judgment, order or proceeding for the following reasons:a. mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;b. newly discovered evidence, which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 83(D);c. fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;d. the judgment is void;e. the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment on which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application; orf. any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.2. The motion shall be filed within a reasonable time, and for reasons 1(a), 1(b) and 1(c) not more than six (6) months after the judgment or order was entered or proceeding was taken.3. A motion under this subdivision does not affect the finality of a judgment or suspend its operation. This rule does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order, or proceeding, or to grant relief to a respondent served by publication as provided by Rule 83(G), or to set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court. The procedure for obtaining any relief from a judgment shall be by motion as prescribed in these rules or by an independent action. Both the statute and case law allows for a motion to be brought past the 6 month period if the fraud was committed upon the court (ie if a party made misrepresentations to the court): Springfield Credit Union v. Johnson, 123 Ariz. 319, 322, 599 P.2d 772, 775 (1979) So one would wish to have an attorney review the file and the decree (and any available minutes) to determine if misrepresentations were made to the court which would allow for relief. Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat. Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.(no additional charges are incurred). Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This can't be handled as just a debt unpaid?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 5 months ago.
Unfortunately the court that heard the divorce case has jurisdiction over all property issues concerning the divorce; so if the debt originated due to marital concerns or as a terms of settlement, the civil court would decline to hear it as lacking subject matter jurisdiction.

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