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Husband’s settlement proceeds should be included in marital pot

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Monroe Circuit Court to include a husband’s settlement proceeds from an action against his former employer as a marital asset when he and his wife divorced.

Paul Edwards sued his former employer alleging damages to his career for the non-renewal of his contract in 2006; in July 2010, his wife Zobeida E. Bonilla-Vega filed for divorce. In October 2010, Edwards’ lawsuit against his former employer settled.

In November 2011, when the trial court entered the decree dissolving the marriage, the judge included the settlement proceeds in the marital pot. Edwards doesn’t believe those proceeds should be included, but the trial court denied his motion to correct error.

The action against Edwards’ former employer is a chose in action. Edwards argued that the proceeds aren’t subject to distribution in the marital estate because the exact amount of damages weren’t known at the time Bonilla-Vega filed for divorce. She argued that the proceeds should be included because the chose in action was a property right that existed before she filed for divorce.

The trial court agreed with the ex-wife in Paul D. Edwards v. Zobeida E. Bonilla-Vega, 53A05-1203-DR-163.

“The fact remains a chose in action is a property right that comes into existence when the tort occurs,” Judge Melissa May wrote. “Pursuant to statute, a property right acquired during the marriage is subject to division as part of the dissolution. Here, there is no dispute that Husband’s chose in action against his employer came into existence in 2006, which was during the marriage. Thus, Husband’s chose in action was marital property that the court did not have discretion to exclude from the marital estate.”

 

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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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