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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My wife and I are going thru a divorce after 3yrs. I am going

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My wife and I are going thru a divorce after 3yrs. I am going on 74 and she is almost 69. Our total debts where we both signed is $90,000, mortgage is $65,000 and leased cr-v is $25,000. Our total assets combined is $170,000, I have a $40,000 IRA that I brought into our marriage and my wife has $130,000 IRA that she was able to bring into our marriage 12 months after she took full retirement 9/1/2010. I purchased this home w/o any plans to remarry 4/20/2010.
Guess what? I got married and when my wife sold her place we paid down by $20,000 our mortgage and refinanced to get her name on the mortgage. She also had to have all new appliances, extended counter top to have room for a dishwasher, and replacement windows. Now her atty. is claiming I owe my wife $30,000 for all of the above and is not responsible for any of our debt. We had our second and last meeting this past Monday and it did not turn out to good. My lawyer was going to file papers w/the court and let them decide. I have to be honest in regards XXXXX XXXXX lawyers, they could care less. I also feel they are incapable. My lawyer said almost nothing and the other lawyer treated this case like a toy. I have an appt. Friday(today)at 1pm w/a lawyer in Indpls., do you think I should proceed?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To be honest, if you feel that the current attorney does not care and is not capable, there is always a good option to retain a second opinion and find counsel that you trust. Ultimately this all comes down to trust, and if you do not have it, it is extremely difficult to prevail. Having said that, please allow me to respond to the split.

I think you can agree that by adding her name to title (if it was added), does grant her an interest in the property. If she was only added to the mortgage and not title, she is only entitled to growth in value from the time you married until divorce. So if value of property increased by $30,000, then she could demand half as her share. That would include improvements so if she can assess the premises and show higher value, she would have a legitimate basis for her demands. Please let me know if I am misreading or if I am not being clear.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I fully understand what you said. The value of our home when we refinance was $86,000 Jan. 2012 same as when I purchased april 2010. There was no on site appraisel when the refinancing took place. VA told MainSourceBank to use the same figure. But, I had the home appraise about 3wks. ago and now the value is $77,500. Therefore, if I understand you right because we still owe $65,000 she would get a credit of 1/2 of $12,500 or $6,250. Now because she is taking all the furniture would it seem fair to keep her share because I have to go out and replace?


Thank you for your follow-up. If the home is under both names and is currently assessed at $77,500, regardless of what you may owe to the lender, her share of ownership is $38,750, or half the value. The fact the home has less equity in it currently does not lower her value of the property, or yours for that matter. This is likely where she obtained the $30,000 amount. The furniture is separate, and is based on your internal agreement as to who receives what from the marital estate. While on paper her value is $38,750, she obviously won't get it due to other liens and interests, but she may agree to $10,000 and all the furniture, for example. Or she may choose to be obstinate, not agree, and get the judge to decide. In such cases the judge may order the property to be sold with all the proceeds minus expenses split in proportion between the parties. That may really harm her share since she may end up receiving almost nothing (and something that you or your attorney could possibly attempt to explain to her if she is refusing to budge).

I really cannot talk about 'fairness' here because that is not a legal concept--what is 'fair' is what you both agree to, as there is no formal basis for it. I am not trying to not answer, I just really cannot answer it as it is a very subjective response.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. She will not or does not want to talk about division or trying to be fair. I now believe after two meetings her atty. has sold her on the idea that I should give her $30,000 and walk away from her share of debt or $45,000.

One last question and I will read your answer in about 4hrs. as I need to go to bed.

Is the law for the state of In. is to combine all debts and split 50/50 where both names are XXXXX XXXXX documents and add assets and divide as close or equal 50/50. At the first meeting her atty. brought into play my three pensions and my IRA. By her doing this does this open up all assets my wife has?

Have a good night or morning and I will be back approx. 4hrs.



Thank you for your follow-up.

Indiana is an "equitable distribution" state. That means that all debts and all assets are split 'fairly' between the parties, but not necessarily equally. It is at the discretion of the courts to figure out what a fair split would be if the parties are unable to agree. This also includes any growth in value of separate assets, and may open her personal IRA and other assets if obtained after marriage to the same split.

Hope that helps!