Category Archives: Property Division

Don’t Spend Money on Your Girlfriend!

Another factor considered in Equitable Distribution is the Degree to which each Spouse has Expended, Withdrawn or otherwise Disposed of Marital Assets and any prior distribution of such assets by agreement, decree or otherwise.  

(This blog is another in a series of blogs regarding Equitable Distribution in Mississippi.  Equitable Distribution is the method employed by the Court’s to determine how marital property is to be divided in a divorce.  The basics and factors to be considered can be seen here, Marital Property; How it’s Divided (click)).
SweetCrisis /freedigitalphotos.net

Expended, Withdrawn or Otherwise Disposed refers to multiple possibilities.  One of the most common is marital waste.  Marital waste is the wrongful or improper use of marital assets, though not necessarily illegal.  Marital waste is basically when marital monies are used for non-marital purposes.  Common examples include; monies spent on a paramour (boyfriend/girlfriend),  gambling losses, monies spent on an addiction like alcohol or drugs.  Bad investments may or may not be waste, it depends on the facts.  Selling a marital asset for significantly less than its value is.  So, if you have a Jeep worth $13,000 and sell it to your Uncle for $3,500, don’t assume you are in the clear.  The Court can “balance the equities” and you will be ordered to reimburse your spouse for the their value in the asset.

Prior distribution is just when the parties divide assets prior to getting into Court.  If the parties agree to a division of some assets the Court may not disturb it, but can certainly consider when dividing the remaining assets of the marital estate.

If you are married, Do Not spend money on your girlfriend/boyfriend.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and advises his clients to not have boyfriends or girlfriends and if they do to not spend money on them. 

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

Mopping It Up in a Divorce

The first factor considered in Equitable Distribution is Substantial Contribution to the Accumulation of the Property.   

(This blog is one in a series of blogs regarding Equitable Distribution in Mississippi.  Equitable Distribution is the method employed by the Court’s to determine how marital property is to be divided in a divorce.  The basics and factors to be considered can be seen here, Marital Property; How it’s Divided (click)).

Factors to be considered in determining contribution include;

    • Direct or indirect economic contribution to the acquisition of the property;

Direct contributions include earnings from your job and using that income to pay for the house, cars, investments, retirement contributions and paying down debt.  These “direct” contributions are attributable to the bread-winning spouse.

Indirect Contributions include child-rearing and homemaking efforts.  In fact,  the law considers domestic or household duties equivalent to working outside of the home.  So who cooked, cleaned,  did the dishes, laundry, yard upkeep, maintenance, and other similar tasks are relevant. Stay-at-home moms work!

    • Contribution to the stability and harmony of the marital and family relationships as measured by quality, quantity of time spent on family duties and duration of the marriage

Stability and Harmony of the Marriage concerns the parties’ conduct.  Marital fault and even conduct that may not rise to the level of marital fault are considered here.  The division of chores and the “roles” that the husband and wife played matter.  Also, length of the marriage is considered.

    • Contribution to the education, training or other accomplishment bearing on the earning power of the spouse accumulating the assets.

Contributions to Education and Training is most commonly seen when the “young couple” gets married and one spouse works while the other finishes their advanced degree and/or professional training.  Did the wife work and/or be the primary caregiver for the children while the husband finished Medical School and residency? Cliche’, but true.  Her efforts working, taking care of the young family allowed him to finish his education and training so he can earn a greater living.  The Court considers the value the wife contributed so that the husband’s earning capacity could be greater.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and some of the above factors hit “close to home.” 

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer 

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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Alimony, Palimony & Baloney

Alimony is one of the least understood aspects of a divorce.  Alimony is a payment from one spouse (or ex-spouse) to the other, when a financial need exists.  This payment is to maintain the receiving spouse in the “manner in which they had grown accustomed” during the course of the marriage.  However, alimony is not a punishment to be awarded by the Court, nor is it an absolute in all situations.

Alimony is governed by the Court and the considerations are outlined in the case of Armstrong.  These Armstrong factors are considered and reviewed after the Court conducts Equitable Distribution (click), and only if the Court determines one party would be left with a deficit.  Then the Court considers the facts specific to your case and then a determination is made as to whether alimony is to be awarded, how  much, and how long it is to be paid.  The factors include;

1. The income and expenses of the parties;
2. The health and earning capacities of the parties;
3. The needs of each party;
4. The obligations and assets of each party;
5. The length of the marriage;
6. The presence or absence of minor children in the home, which may require that one or both of the parties either pay, or personally provide, child care;
7. The age of the parties;
8. The standard of living of the parties, both during the marriage and at the time of the support determination;
9. The tax consequences of the spousal support order;
10. Fault or misconduct;
11. Wasteful dissipation of assets by either party; or
12. Any other factor deemed by the court to be “just and equitable” in connection with the setting of spousal support.
Armstrong v. Armstrong, 618 So. 2d 1278, 1280 (Miss. 1993).

Within Alimony there are 3 basic types;

  1. Permanent (or Periodic)- Forever! Until death or remarraige, usually deductible and modifiable.
  2. Rehabilitative – limited in time and amount. May be subject to taxes and may be modified depending on specific language.
  3. Lump Sum – “Guaranteed” can be in one lump or in installments, non-modifiable and non-taxable.

A brief discussion of each “type” of alimony will be posted in the future and linked back to this article.

So what is Palimony?

  • Palimony– alimony when the parties lived together, but were not married. Can’t do it in Mississippi.

What about Baloney?

  • Baloney- A Spouse at fault can’t get Alimony? Not TRUE, it is possible. The Court will conduct an Armstrong Analysis.
  • A Husband can’t get alimony? Not TRUE, it is possible. It would be unconstitutional to discriminate based on gender.
  • Must be married for at least 10 years? Nope.  The longer the marriage the better, but it’s possible to get some types of alimony even in short marriages.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi.  Questions about Alimony? Call?  Questions about Baloney? Don’t.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer 

Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms