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Appeals court upholds, tweaks division of IRA in divorce

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A husband’s individual retirement account is a divisible asset in a divorce, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, but it ordered the trial court to revise the award to reflect an equal division of both parties’ assets.

In Andrew Joseph Wortkoetter v. Amy Jean Wortkoetter, 30A01-1111-DR-548, the judges found that a Hancock Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to award Andrew Wortkoetter his IRA exclusively. Both parties represented themselves pro se.

The case involves an IRA the husband rolled over in 1990, the year before the couple married.

“The IRA was established by Husband before the marriage, most of the appreciation occurred during the marriage. Cf. Wanner, 888 N.E.2d at 263 (observing that, even where the trial court properly sets aside the value of premarital assets to one spouse, the appreciation over the course of the marriage is a divisible marital asset),” appellate Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote in a unanimous opinion.

“Additionally, the trial court was not required to set aside to Husband the value of the IRA, even though Wife made no contribution to its acquisition. See In re Marriage of Nickels, 834 N.E.2d 1091, 1098 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).”  

The judges ordered a correction of the judgment in favor of the wife be reduced from $12,664 to $8,107, reflecting the difference between equalization netting and the wife’s net assets.



 

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