Articles Posted in Property Distribution

rural-home-1233045-e1508796239638In a recent New Jersey appellate case, a couple married in 1997 and separated in 2007. The husband sued for divorce in 2010, and the divorce came through in 2013. The divorce judgment incorporated a marital settlement agreement.

The husband appealed a post-judgment order that enforced equitable distribution of the marital home, transferred the obligation to make mortgage payments, and provided the husband with sole responsibility for the couple’s unpaid income taxes. The wife argued it should be affirmed.

The wife had filed the motion at issue in 2015, when she found out the mortgage’s balance was higher than what the couple had understood when creating the settlement agreement. She had also filed a motion after learning there were recorded federal income tax liens on the couple’s home that were more than what the home was worth. Because of these liens, the wife couldn’t close on a home sale contract set for 2015.

Continue reading

sunsetIn a recent New Jersey equitable distribution decision, a wife and husband cross-appealed after their divorce. The husband filed for divorce in 2010 after he’d been married to the wife for less than eight years. He was 61 when they married, while the wife was 50. They came into the marriage with children from prior marriages and worked full time.

The husband was laid off two years into the marriage and ultimately determined he would retire. The wife worked in IT, and her income fluctuated between $62,000 and $120,000 on a yearly basis. She had no health benefits as a contractor and no pension. The husband irrevocably named her a contingent beneficiary of his pension and also provided for the household.

The husband’s accounts paid for renovations and living expenses. She didn’t contribute to his accounts, nor withdraw from them. He paid down the wife’s mortgage. The wife put her earnings into accounts only in her name and contributed to the home by doing most of the chores. They had a nine-day divorce trial, in which the husband’s request for alimony was denied. The defendant filed a motion challenging the distribution to the plaintiff of his own bank accounts.

Continue reading

graveIn a recent New Jersey divorce case, the defendant challenged the equitable distribution of marital assets and the alimony that had been awarded to him, as well as other rulings. The couple had been married for 24 years. The plaintiff was 56 years old and still working, while the defendant was 79 and retired. The plaintiff earned $92,419 each year as income, and the defendant got $13,000 yearly in the form of Social Security benefits.

The couple went to trial, at which the court awarded the defendant $27,500 each year as open durational alimony. The court allocated to each of the spouses equal shares of their personal property, an investment account, a pension, and marital credit card debt. The court ordered the couple to sell a Buenos Aires apartment that the defendant expected to be worth $350,000. The couple was also ordered to share college loans for their child, and the court required the defendant to pay 40% of the child’s college costs for his senior year. The plaintiff could keep the defendant’s share of the investment account to satisfy these obligations.

The defendant appealed, arguing there was insufficient evidence presented at trial for the alimony and support rulings as well as the equitable distribution ruling. The appellate court explained that alimony shouldn’t be a factor in determining equitable distribution, even though equitable distribution was a factor in alimony. The defendant claimed the court had improperly distributed their marital assets, among other things.

snowy houseIn a recent unpublished New Jersey appellate case, a defendant appealed an order arising out of a divorce trial that awarded his wife alimony, child support, and equitable distribution. He argued that the court had made a mistake in how it calculated his imputed income, and this had affected the alimony award. He also argued that it was improper for the court to order him to pay back taxes on an investment property and that two of the lower court judges were biased.

The couple had married in 1989 and had a son and daughter together. The wife sued for divorce in 2011. During the trial, the plaintiff presented testimony from her expert, a certified public accountant who’d worked on her taxes, and a forensic accountant. The first had tried to determine her income but stated that he was lacking necessary information. The defendant claimed he’d provided information to his accountant, but the accountant denied getting those documents.

The expert reviewed the defendant’s income taxes and determined much had not been reported to the IRS. He also used data from a Risk Management Associates (RMA) database, which included information collected by banks on many different industries. The expert used the RMA’s average gross profit margin for electronics retail stores that have $1 million in sales, which was 44.5% , in order to adjust the sales and net income from the husband’s business.

Continue reading