ILNews

Judges rule on marital property division

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Trial courts that order parties to sell marital residences can take into account any needed repairs and costs associated with selling residences when figuring the value, as long as those amounts are based on evidence in the record, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.

A unanimous three-judge appellate panel ruled today in David Keown v. Cynthia Marie Keown, No. 49A02-0706-CV-496, a Marion County case in which the ex-husband challenged a trial court's decision in recalculating the value of the marital residence as part of a dissolution's property division.

Superior Judge Thomas Carroll ordered that Cynthia Keown make necessary repairs to the house and list it for sale as quickly as possible, and in determining the value the judge reduced it by the amount of repairs not yet made to the house and the costs of sale, as well as including interest in David Keown's mother's property that had served as security for a paid-back loan. The total was $1,972 for the repair costs and $6,285.20 for costs of the sale. David challenged that judgment, and the appellate decision affirms the decision.

David argued that his ex-wife could comply with the order but still have no intention of selling the property, such as listing the property for sale at an inflated price or by listing it for a brief period of time.

"We find David's reading of the trial court's order to be unreasonable," the court wrote, noting that he could file a petition to find her in contempt if she willfully disobeyed the dissolution decree.

He didn't object to evidence on cost of sale or needed repairs during the proceedings, and the trial court didn't abuse its discretion in using those as a basis for its decision, the appeals judges ruled.
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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

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