Home Family Law Inflicting Fireplace Would not Depend as a Substantial Contribution

Inflicting Fireplace Would not Depend as a Substantial Contribution

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Ballard v. Ballard, No. M2008-00713-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2009).

Inflicting Fireplace Doesn’t Depend as a Substantial Contribution and Property Stays Different Partner’s Separate Property

Earlier than he met his future spouse, Mr. Ballard bought a house in his personal identify for $81,000.  The identical yr he started courting Mrs. Ballard, he paid off the primary mortgage on his residence in full and obtained a second mortgage.  After the events married, Mr. Ballard paid the second mortgage, utilities, property taxes, and house owner’s insurance coverage from a private checking account that he maintained individually from his spouse.  Whereas the events had been married, Mrs. Ballard and her little one from one other marriage triggered two main fires in Mr. Ballard’s residence.  The house owner’s insurance coverage obtained by Mr. Ballard coated the substantial repairs wanted after each of the fires.  Whereas Mrs. Ballard admitted to paying nothing in direction of the mortgage, she used revenue from little one assist and numerous part-time jobs to purchase wanted gadgets for the household and “issues for the home.”

When the events divorced, the trial court docket held that the house was Mr. Ballard’s separate property.  The trial court docket additionally held that Mrs. Ballard was entitled to 40% of the $50,000 appreciation of the house from the date of the wedding till the date of the divorce decree.  The trial court docket, nevertheless, deducted cash from Mrs. Ballard’s $20,000 award as a result of she stole Mr. Ballard’s bank card to make unauthorized purchases and fraudulently cast checks on Mr. Ballard’s checking account.  The trial court docket took additional deductions for repairs on the home made by Mr. Ballard after the couple separated.  Mrs. Ballard appealed the trial court docket’s choice, claiming that the holding was inaccurate in its calculations of her fairness within the marital residence and deductions for bank card prices and cast checks. The Tennessee Court docket of Appeals reversed the holding of the trial court docket and located that Mrs. Ballard made no important contributions to the appreciation of Mr. Ballard’s residence.  In a strongly worded opinion, the court docket famous that “[Mrs. Ballard’s] solely ‘contributions’ had been contributing to 2 fires on the residence, inflicting roughly $200,000 in injury, and contributing to the house’s filthiness by bringing two pot-bellied pigs into the house.”  Accordingly, the court docket awarded Mr. Ballard the complete worth of the appreciation of the house.

This publish is a part of a sequence, Appreciation of Separate Property: The Forensic Accountant’s Full Employment Act.

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