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Testy divorce remanded for recalculation

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A divorce order that satisfied neither party was sent back to the trial court for recalculation of several provisions.

“Discovery in this case was complex and contentious,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that on Thursday issued a 31-page opinion in Lisa A. Birkhimer v. Neil S. Birkhimer, 29A02-1111-DR-1058. Lisa Birkhimer had business interests whose values were estimated in divorce proceedings at $2.78 million by her appraisers and $3.55 million by her husband’s evaluations.

The court awarded the business assets to Lisa Birkhimer and gave her 67 percent of the marital estate. To effect the division, she was ordered to pay more than $870,000 in equal monthly payments over 10 years with interest, plus a portion of her ex-husband’s legal fees. Neil Birkhimer also was to receive child support payments for their two children for whom the couple shared custody.

The COA remanded the case and ordered the Hamilton Superior Court to:

  • Include Lisa Birkhimer’s $580,000 debt to her father in setting forth the marital assets, and either recalculate the 33/67 percent split or adjust the percentages if the court determines that a different division is just and reasonable;
  • Recalculate Lisa Birkhimer’s income for child support purposes. If a deduction is made for her taxes, the deduction should not exceed 100% of her taxes. The court shall enter written findings to support any deviations from the Child Support Guidelines;.
  • Complete a new child support obligation worksheet using Lisa Birkhimer’s recalculated income and applying the parenting time credit to Neil Birkhimer; and.
  • Correct or clarify attorneys fees awarded to Neil Birkhimer as directed.
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