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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2018, 08:29 PM
menchia menchia is online now
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Question shared increase in matrimonial value after separation

Hi folks,
This is my first post, and I'd appreciate very much any advice/feedback on the following.

-Married on 1999
-Separated on 2008
-As of today, not divorced yet
-We jointly bought a house on 2007
-the house value on 2007 was $430k
-Mortgage on the house was $260k
-From the separation date (2008) up to now I paid all house bills (utilities, property tax, home insurance, etc) and all the mortgage
-The wife paid nothing at all
-Both wife and I stayed at the matrimonial home (different quarters). She did not move out of the house all this time, and we still both live in the house now.

I understand that we share the equity in the house(minus mortgage) on the separation date (2008), but since the wife did not contribute at all in paying off the mortgage and other costs after the separation date (2008), can I assume that she cannot share the increase in value of the home post 2008, on the grounds of the principles of equity or "unjust enrichment"?

I would appreciate very much any feedback on this. Thank you all.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:02 PM
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How much child support and spousal support have you been paying during this time?

If the answer is "none at all", then you might want to tread carefully. What is your income? What is her income? Depending on the answer, calculating everything starting from today might be a really really good deal for you. If you claim the entire increase in value of the house, I guarantee you will face a claim for retro CS and SS.

My prediction: Judge rules that from 2008-2015 support exactly offsets what you contributed to the mortgage. From 2015-2018 judge finds that you owe some retroactive cash. As a bonus, you end up paying costs because your offer to settle doesn't contemplate this turn of events at all.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:43 PM
menchia menchia is online now
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Thanks Janus for the quick reply. I neglected to mention in my previous post that I indeed paid for all my two children expenses all the time, she never paid a cent, and I have all the documents to prove it. I also paid for all her personal expenses, which would go above the recommended maximum spousal support amount, and again I have the facts to prove it. My income is about 2.5 times her income.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:07 AM
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In family law, when you buy something for an ex spouse, that is not considered to be support, that is considered to be a gift. You had control of the money, you decided how it was spent (or not spent). Support is money that is unconditional for the recipient.

It was nice that you bought her gifts for the last while. One of those gifts was "her share of the house expenses". I'm not sure why that "house" gift would be any different than the "clothing" or "food" gifts. Now that you guys are actually separating, you will sell the house, split the money, and you will start paying her child and spousal support.

Alternatively, figure out what her "house share" was for the last 3 years, and figure out how much you owe in back support for those three years. If you owe more support than half of the mortgage payment and property taxes, best to let sleeping dogs lie as the phrase goes
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:21 AM
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so for the past 10 years you and her have lived in the same house with you paying the bills? Do you have proof that you asked her for her share of the mortgage etc?
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:30 PM
menchia menchia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
In family law, when you buy something for an ex spouse, that is not considered to be support, that is considered to be a gift. You had control of the money, you decided how it was spent (or not spent). Support is money that is unconditional for the recipient.

It was nice that you bought her gifts for the last while. One of those gifts was "her share of the house expenses". I'm not sure why that "house" gift would be any different than the "clothing" or "food" gifts. Now that you guys are actually separating, you will sell the house, split the money, and you will start paying her child and spousal support.

Alternatively, figure out what her "house share" was for the last 3 years, and figure out how much you owe in back support for those three years. If you owe more support than half of the mortgage payment and property taxes, best to let sleeping dogs lie as the phrase goes
She's not my ex spouse yet, we still separated but not divorced. I did not just give her the money as a "gift", it was part of a verbal spousal support agreement (some of it communicated via e-mail messages that I still have). Also "her share of the house expenses" were not gifts, as I've been asking here continuously verbally and in writing (I have all records to prove it) to pay her share of the bills and mortgage and she refused consistently verbally and in writing.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
so for the past 10 years you and her have lived in the same house with you paying the bills? Do you have proof that you asked her for her share of the mortgage etc?
I absolutely do have the proof that I asked her may times of the year to pay her share of the mortgage and house expenses (I have it in writing from her).
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menchia View Post
She's not my ex spouse yet, we still separated but not divorced. I did not just give her the money as a "gift", it was part of a verbal spousal support agreement (some of it communicated via e-mail messages that I still have). Also "her share of the house expenses" were not gifts, as I've been asking here continuously verbally and in writing (I have all records to prove it) to pay her share of the bills and mortgage and she refused consistently verbally and in writing.
did you have a separation agreement?

Honestly- it sounds like you're still married....and you've been in a 10 year long fight? Have either of you had other relationships openly that the other person knew about?

I'm trying to figure out how you are "separated". Did you live in two separate apartments in the home? did you share a kitchen? did she continue to take care of the home- other than financially?
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:46 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
did you have a separation agreement?

Honestly- it sounds like you're still married....and you've been in a 10 year long fight? Have either of you had other relationships openly that the other person knew about?

I'm trying to figure out how you are "separated". Did you live in two separate apartments in the home? did you share a kitchen? did she continue to take care of the home- other than financially?
may I add another point to this excellent post?

where there still joint bank accounts, line of credit or any other thing that was bundled together like a cell phone plan etc over the last 10 years?
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
may I add another point to this excellent post?

where there still joint bank accounts, line of credit or any other thing that was bundled together like a cell phone plan etc over the last 10 years?
We've been absolutely separated. We do not communicate directly, unless it is important (relating to the children or me asking her to pay for something). We communicate using e-mail and written notes, only when needed. We do not have anything joint be it bank accounts or other. We do not socialize at all. We're almost never present at the same time at the same location in the house (big house). She has her own room and I have mine, no one infringes on the other space, etc. As I said absolute separation.
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matrimonial home, shared equity, unjust enrichment


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