Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. appellate attorneys who handle divorce appeals receive a wide array questions surrounding and regarding property, such as the value of unvested stock (which ironically has no value). Effectively anything not related to children fall into the general catchall of a property division. If you believe there are errors in the trial court’s property division, it is key to appeal because unlike child-related issues which may be modified in the future, property issues are final and unable to be addressed just thirty (30) days after the divorce ordered in the absence of an appeal. However, the trial court does not lose jurisdiction to use its contempt and other enforcement powers to enforce its property award. But it cannot change its order.
This noted, most appeals are generated from unequal division of the marital property or assets the court fails to account for and divide. The presumption is an equal division of the marital estate (all you have, minus all you owe, divided by two). Marital property are all assets brought into the marriage by the parties and acquired during the marriage and up to the date of filing. By statute, the trial court starts at an equal division, but for good cause can deviate for a party and make an unequal division. Normally, trial courts do not deviate far beyond a 60/40 division of marital assets because these cases are more likely to be overturned by the Court of Appeals.
Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals sometimes allows for significant deviations for family farming operations where the spouse who is not the farmer has not been involved in the farming operations and the assets of the farm have not been comingled with the parties’ funds. Also, sometimes inheritances that have been received during the marriage and not comingled have support for an unequal division depending on the facts of the case. A premarital agreement may also result in an unequal division (unless challenged) because it is a contract that specifies the division.
At this point, you might be asking what other types cases routinely generate appeals. The following are types of property issues in the overall division made by the trial court that generate a significant amount of appellate litigation because there is caselaw to support a diverse range of divisions:
While these are only a few of the types of marital assets that wind up being appealed, these are commonly appealed. If you are unhappy with your division of the marital estate, and through consultation with your trial lawyer believe an appeal is prudent, you should have an appellate consult. If you do not file an appeal within thirty (30) days of the final order, you are forever barred and the trial court order stands.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. appellate advocates handle all types of property appeals stemming from divorce, which are often intermixed with custody issues from trial courts in all 92 counties in Indiana. These are taken to the Court of Appeals of Indiana. However, to appeal, a timely Notice of Appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days or the appeal is forfeited. Perhaps we should consult with you?
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