Adjusting the financial rights between divorcing spouses for the payment of marital residence carrying charges while the divorce action is pending can be problematic. Claims for such adjustments are not always made and the results may be affected by other issues. Calculation of the credits may be illogical.
In its September, 2015 decision in Goldman v. Goldman, the Appellate Division, Second Department, modified the judgment of now-retired Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice William J. Kent, on the facts and in the exercise of discretion, to award each party a credit against the proceeds of the sale of the marital residence for 50% of the amounts they each expended after the commencement of the action on carrying charges related to the marital residence. Justice Kent had awarded no such credits.
Generally, it is the responsibility of both parties to maintain the marital residence during the pendency of a matrimonial action. Where a party has paid the other party’s share of what proves to be marital debt, such as the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the marital residence, reimbursement is required.
Here, while both parties paid certain carrying charges related to the marital residence after the commencement of the action, the husband had paid the vast majority of these expenses. Since these expenses should have been allocated on a 50/50 basis, the Second Department modified the judgment and remitted the matter for a determination of the amounts that each party expended after the commencement of this action on such carrying charges, and for the entry of an appropriate amended judgment thereafter.
Michael W. Meyers, of the Law Offices of Clifford J. Petroske, P.C., now Petroske, Riezenman & Meyers, P.C., of Bohemia, represented the husband. Elizabeth Diesa and Joy Jankunas, of Tabat, Cohen, Blum & Yovino, LLP, of Hauppauge, represented the wife.