Articles in the ‘Equitable Distribution’ Category
This case provides a good overview of the power of the trial court to structure equitable distribution in favor of an aggrieved party wherein it is determined a spouse dissipates, diverts and/or wrongfully transfers assets out of the marital enterprise. IN this instance the trial court determined the husband drew down $200,000 from the parties home equity line of credit without the wife’s knowledge or consent, invested it, and lost the entire amount. In making an equitable distribution of marital property, the Appellate Division reaffirmed the court must consider, among other things, “[t]he contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property.” N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1(i).
It is not uncommon in divorce cases to raise various equitable defenses such as laches, estoppel and waiver. This case provides a good summary of the principles and application in a matrimonial context. Baldinger v. Baldinger, New Jersey App. Div., July 7, 2011
Holly Lahti burst into the spotlight in a feel-good story about a single mother of two children who won a $190 million Mega Millions jackpot. It turned out she was separated from a man who court records indicated had abused her, and now has a possible claim to some of the money through a quirk in Idaho law despite the fact they had been physically separated for many years. Lahti opted to collect her jackpot in a lump-sum payment and will get $120 million, which will be reduced to $80.6 million by federal and state taxes. The law in New Jersey when it comes to lottery winnings is found in the case DeVane v. DeVane, 280 N.J. Super. 488 (App. Div. 1995) which, simply stated, stands for the proposition that it is an asset subject to equitable distribution.
This case illustrates the trial court’s continuing power to compel compliance with the terms contained in a property settlement agreement (PSA) post judgment where one party exhibits a clear agenda to frustrate the terms of the PSA.
The parties were divorced on April 28, 2003. The JOD directed distribution of certain assets; the conveyance of the marital home and transfers of a pension plan and a 401K plan. Due to years of delay the underlying asset values dropped. Read the rest of this entry »