Hi, Donna, Thank you for your additional information,
1. You asked if you must repay your husband the money he gave you to pay a lawyer in 2006
In 2006 when your husband gave you the money (And, I do mean gave), you were neither separated, nor contemplating divorce. In 2006, you were married, you were husband and wife and divorce proceedings did not commence until 7 years later, in 2013. Under Massachusetts law, a married couple is considered one entity, and because a husband and wife are considered a single entity, money of a husband and wife belongs to both spouses. Therefore, you do not owe him anything. His giving you $20,000 is the same thing as his taking $20,000 from his left pocket and putting it in his right pocket. In addition, you had an interest in that part of your husband's 401k that was earned during the marriage. Under the circumstances you described, you do not legally owe him any repayment, no matter how much he demands or insists.
Let me give you a example to show you how ridiculous his demand for repayment is:
Husband and Wife were married in 1993. They had a rocky marriage for 8 years and in 2001, Husband got his Third DUI and had to pay a lawyer $15,000 to avoid going to jail. The wife withdrew $15,000 from her retirement fund to pay the lawyer. In 2009 after 16 years of marriage, Husband and Wife separated. The wife demanded that she be repaid the money she gave her husband 8 years earlier, in 2001.
Is the wife entitled to be repaid ? No. Although the marriage was rocky, Husband and Wife did not separate until 2009 and did not divorce until 2012. They lived together as Husband and Wife after the Wife had given her Husband the money. It cannot be a loan if the money was given while they were married and the Husband had an interest in his Wife's retirement fund because it was earned during the marriage and was "marital Property".
2. You also asked about retirement funds and his Navy Pension,
Under Massachusetts law, "Marital Property" is defined as all property acquired, purchased, or earned during the marriage, regardless of whose name is XXXXX XXXXX and regardless of who paid or eared it, except for gifts, bequests and inheritaces which remain the sole, separate property of the recipient.
This would include any retirement accounts he has and any retirement accounts wich you have that was earned during the marriage. It would also include any part of his Navy Pension that was earned during the marriage. You cannot determine if it is a "wash" until you calculate the value of each in dollars and cents that was earned during the marriage. In divorce proceedings, if the spouses cannot agree with the division of the marital property, a Judge will make the division. Massachusetts is an Equitable Distribution State, therefore, although the Judge may start out with a 50%-50% division, he might divide the marital property 55%-45%, 60%-40%, etc., after applying several factors, including but not limited to,
Length of the marriage
Relative Age of the parties
Relative health of the parties
Education of the parties
Contribution of a spouse as homemaker
Education and Employability of the parties
I hope I have given you a better understanding of your rights and obligations with respect to the issues you raised,
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