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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. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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