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robo
journeyman


Reged: 04/05/09
Posts: 50
Sweat Equity
      #520431 - 04/05/09 02:03 PM

How can I show sweat equity in our property? I would like to show this in a profession way in mediation.

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PhoenixRising
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Reged: 01/05/07
Posts: 3681
Loc: New York
Re: Sweat Equity [Re: robo]
      #520459 - 04/05/09 04:42 PM

I haven't ever come across a case where "sweat equity" had any legal or monetary standing.

The assumption is that while you were putting in the "sweat"; your spouse was working just as hard supporting that effort by taking care of the kids, cooking meals, etc..

By the way, the agrument could work against you. My ex argued sweat equity; so the judge made him solely responsible for all the upkeep and repairs on the house during the pendency of the divorce; seeing as he proved that he was historically always responsible for same.

PS: At the end of the trial; I got the house.

--------------------
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato


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robo
journeyman


Reged: 04/05/09
Posts: 50
Re: Sweat Equity [Re: PhoenixRising]
      #520499 - 04/05/09 07:54 PM

She was active duty in Iraq when I did the work. We have no children. I did 100% of the work. I had a full time job as well. It was a complete remodel. A huge amount of work with a lot of late nights. I don't think it would hurt my case any. She’s going to try to get half of the equity. Only own the property of 3yrs

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Maury
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Re: Sweat Equity [Re: robo]
      #520520 - 04/05/09 10:00 PM

In most states, there is no such thing. Work carried out during the marriage that creates equity or value creates a marital asset regardless of who performed the work.

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robo
journeyman


Reged: 04/05/09
Posts: 50
Re: Sweat Equity [Re: Maury]
      #520528 - 04/05/09 10:27 PM

I know it can be used in the state of Iowa. I just need to know the best way to show work done.

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PhoenixRising
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Re: Sweat Equity [Re: robo]
      #520742 - 04/06/09 01:14 PM

It is settled law that "sweat equity" is not money's worth. See In re Woodmere Investors, Ltd., 178 B.R. 346, 363 (Bankr. S.D. N.Y. 1995); In re Resorts Int'l, Inc., 145 B.R. 412, 483 (Bankr. D. N.J. 1990).

The fact that my ex wanted such an unequitable division of assets is one of the many reasons; I was awarded the house.

Ya might want to rethink your strategy.

--------------------
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato

Edited by PhoenixRising (04/06/09 01:35 PM)


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shortmarriage
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Re: Sweat Equity [Re: robo]
      #520784 - 04/06/09 03:22 PM

I can sympathize with you! I also made home improvements with my pre-marital money and I put a lot of sweat equity into the marital home! I will not benefit from any of my money or sweat spent on that house!

You've only had the home for three years and the real estate market has crashed. The complete remodel would add equity. What do you plan to do with the marital residence?


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robo
journeyman


Reged: 04/05/09
Posts: 50
Re: Sweat Equity [Re: shortmarriage]
      #520882 - 04/06/09 07:43 PM

I hope to stay if I don't have to pay too much for the equity that I put into it. Kinda crazy to think a person can pay someone else for the work he did on is own

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robo
journeyman


Reged: 04/05/09
Posts: 50
Re: Sweat Equity [Re: robo]
      #520884 - 04/06/09 07:49 PM

Im starting to worry that my attorney is giving my bad advice. He said I could you sweat equity.

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Maury
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Re: Sweat Equity [Re: PhoenixRising]
      #521027 - 04/08/09 12:48 PM

The cases cited make it settled law in New Jersey and New York. That has no impact on Iowa.

Since Iowa is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal."

The statute does not address sweat equity and certainly all property would be presumed marital. However, the statutes in Iowa state that tThe court shall divide all property, except inherited property or gifts received by one party, equitably between the parties after considering all of the following:

a. The length of the marriage.

b. The property brought to the marriage by each party.

c. The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party's contribution in homemaking and child care services.

d. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.

e. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.

f. The earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

g. The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the family home for a reasonable period to the party having custody of the children, or if the parties have joint legal custody, to the party having physical care of the children.

h. The amount and duration of an order granting support payments to either party pursuant to subsection 3 and whether the property division should be in lieu of such payments.

i. Other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests.

j. The tax consequences to each party.

k. Any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution.

l. The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.

m. Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.

Arguably, subparagraph "c" could be used to make an argument for sweat equity. However, such arguments can be made in most states and, as in most states, I think it is a losing argument


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