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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 6 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!!!