I am in the midst of a divorce in Nevada, a community property state.
Here are facts:
1. Married May 2016 and separated Sept. 1, 2020. I retired Sept. 1, 2018 after 29.6 years.
2. I owned the house prior to marriage. From June 2016 to Oct. 2018 I continued to make mortgage payments which I understand is community property (payments).
3. After I retired in Sept. 2018, I used my separate property funds (which I can easily trace) to pay off the remainder of the mortgage balance of $132,000.
4. A Malmquist worksheet shows her interest would be around 5% of home appreciation (and 50% of mortgage payments).
My first question is this:
A. Since I paid the house off in 2018 with my own funds can I use this date to calculate the home appreciation (May 2016 to Sept. 2018). The housing market in our area is very good and and homes have increased in value nicely. We have done nothing to the house to increase it's value, simply market forces. From what I have researched this would be active vs. passive activity. My spouse (wife) did nothing from 2018 when the house was paid off until today so why should she continue to get credit for any appreciation since 2018 since I paid off house with my separate funds. Can I just use from May 2016 until Sept. 2018 to calculate appreciation to divide?
The second question is a bit more complex.
Prior to retiring in Sept. 2018, my company sponsored a retirement seminar and during this event we discussed the importance of probate and trusts (POA for health etc.). Because I had a legal plan as part of my benefits it provided to cover 50% of the cost to do a revocable trust (a $1,200 value). Once I retired I would lose this benefit so I met with an attorney in August 2018 to do a trust in order to keep my house out of probate. Here are the facts:
1. Met with attorney in August. He provided me with a big packet of data to complete and return. I paid up front but didn't get around to finalizing until Jan. 2019. I was getting ready to take a 70 day trip to SE Asia and I wanted to get this in place in the event something happened.
2. The Lewis Family Revocable Trust was created and my house was moved into the trust via a quit claim deed.
3. As part of the packet there was a sheet labeled Schedule A which was to list all assets. My wife had no assets, everything was mine. I understood this to just be a list of assets so in the event something happened my beneficiaries would have this. The issue is the schedule A says community property, making it look as if this was community. None of these items listed were moved into the Trust Name (only my house). Interestingly, this Schedule during signing of Trust was NOT signed or initialed like all the other sheets were signed and notarized. I had no intention of making my separate funds and property community, I was just doing this for probate planning. I even asked the attorney (whose license has been suspended I learned) a week before signed what would happen in the event of a divorce and he basically said it would come back out as it went in, in other words, as my separate property, so I moved forward.
4. Now that I have requested a divorce, my soon to be ex is claiming via her lawyer that since I signed the Trust and the Schedule A says community property (even though not signed or notarized) that I made this community and she in now entitled to 50% of the house. I paid 95% of this house and it was mine prior to marriage.
B. Does my ex get 50% of the house just because it was put into a revocable trust when she did very little towards doing anything? Is Schedule A (Community) binding even though it was not signed and it was never explained to me I was making my separate property community. I would have not signed had I known.
I have the Trust I can attach if you think you can do any legal research to help me prove my case.
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