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InformationForYou
InformationForYou, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1956
Experience:  18 yrs trial attorney, professor of criminal law and ethics
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I live in Louisiana and I just got a adultery divorce against

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I live in Louisiana and I just got a adultery divorce against my wife. The two questions I have is if community property is split does she have a right to any payments made into a lease purchase property if she never paid any bills in the residence for 5 years? The second question is if I file my taxes as head of household for 2011 (we were legally seperated on dec 3rd) is she entitled to any of that?

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Can you explain a little more detail about the lease-purchase?

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2. If you file joint taxes with your wife,

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and file as head of household, she will be entitled to any refund...because it is a joint tax return.

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Any refund will be made into joint names (if by check).

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If you have it directly deposited, it won't change the nature that it is marital.

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The only other option is if she agrees in a contract that she is waiving any refund.

Customer:

I did not file as married but as seperated

Customer:

The lease purchase is that Someone else has the mortgage and I am paying his mortgage payments but everything is in his name. I have legal papers stating that efter the loan is paid off he will sign over the property to me.

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If you file a separate income tax return, she isn't entitled to any of it.

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I think she has a good argument that to the extent there is a reduction in principal for the loan, those payments were marital.

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Let me give you an example:

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let's say out of every payment made (totaling $1500), $200 goes to reduce the principal amount of the loan

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and $1200 is interest...

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she'd have an argument for $200 (the reduction of the principal amount of the loan) is marital and she'd get 1/2 of that (so $100, in this example) would be marital every month.

Customer:

Even if she paid no bills in the household and held a job?

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That won't matter...

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that is not the standard in law.

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(Otherwise stay at home moms would get nothing and working fathers would walk away with everything).

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That is why the court looks at

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monetary (your) contributions and non-monetary (probably hers) contributions during the marriage.

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The issue she has is this:

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she will have to PROVE that this is not just a lease.

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A lease has no interest in it -

Customer:

If we lived in an apartment (which is basically the same thing at this point) and I did not pay my rent I would get evicted just as I would in this property.

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so the real issue will be what the exact terms of the lease (to own) says.

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For example...

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What does it say if you quit paying - do you get nothing?

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What does it say if you pay almost all and then die?

Customer:

yes I get nothing.

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I think she has an argument if she is smart enough to creatively come up with it.

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That argument is this:

Customer:

I get nothing if any payment is missed for more than 2 months straight

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When someone is in the military, they have to serve 20 years

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before they get any retirement.

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So if they are married for 3 years and then serve 10 more and get out of the military the wife gets nothing.

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BUT under the law,

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if they are married 3 years,

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and the other guy (husband) serves in the military 20 years total and retires,

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wife DOES get a portion of his retirement.

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It is what we call an 'incohate" assets.

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"asset"

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meaning it is not complete right now...

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so if she is creative enough, the argument is IF and when you ever get equity in that house,

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she should be entitled to a part of it...

Customer:

ok so she will have to prove it is not a lease, then she will have to prove how much was interest and how much was principle before she gets anything?

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That is part of it - but we know she can't prove it isn't a lease...

Customer:

she only gets half of the principle correct?

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she will have to create an argument that IF

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Correct...

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She will have to prove that if you ever get any equity in this property,

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she should be entitled to 1/2 the reduction of the principal payments of the loan from the marital period.

Customer:

does any improvements made to a leased property count towards that?

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It depends...

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the improvements need to actually INCREASE the value of the home.

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So if it is maintenance - fixing something that is broken, then that doesn't.

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But adding a porch/deck, that does.

Customer:

it is a trailer and it was a stove,dishwasher, TV, Dryer, shed, and a patio.

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Stove no,

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Wait...

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was there a stove beforehand?

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was there a dishwasher beforehand?

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was there a dryer beforehand?

Customer:

yes to all of the aplliances

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Then no - if they existed before it didn't improve the property

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Tv no.

Customer:

they were broke so had to be replaced

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the shed and patio perhaps.

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(Broken, replaced appliances doesn't improve a property's value.

Customer:

she also purchased a vehicle that I should be entitled to half of the value. She also took a 1800 lawnmower that was brand new and a 2000 BBQ pit that was brand new. Can I get half of their value?

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I believe I've answered all your initial questions and numerous follow up ones. Please click accept and then I can follow up with some minimal additional answers. Thanks.

InformationForYou and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
With the vehicle, if she purchased and paid for it using marital money, then yes you should be entitled to 1/2 the equity of it as well. With the BBQ and lawnmower, the court would give you 1/2 of their fair market value - which unfortunately the amount you'd get at a garage sale. It is not replacement value that is the standard...so while you may be entitled to 1/2 their value, it is not a great amount.
I saw you posted a separate question for me. It can't be in the section you posted it in. Can you post it in general or family law and ask for me specifically? Then I can definitely assist. Thanks!!!

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