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Demeester v. Demeester

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 14, 2014

THOMAS W. DEMEESTER, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
REBECCA DEMEESTER, Appellee-Respondent

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE SAINT JOSEPH CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Michael G. Gotsch, Judge. Cause No. 71C01-1201-DR-19.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MARK S. LENYO, South Bend, Indiana.

FRIEDLANDER, Judge. KIRSCH, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

FRIEDLANDER, Judge

Thomas DeMeester (Husband) appeals from the trial court's order dissolving his marriage to Rebecca DeMeester (Wife). Husband raises the following issues on appeal:

1. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in dividing the marital estate?
2. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in valuing certain marital assets?
3. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in ordering Husband to pay ninety-three percent of the parties' daughter's educational expenses?

We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand with instructions.

Husband and Wife were married in 1997 and had one child. During the course of the marriage, Wife worked at Franciscan Alliance and Husband worked as a journeyman plumber and pipe fitter. Husband managed the couple's finances and took responsibility for filing their tax returns. Unbeknownst to Wife, Husband did not file their joint income tax returns from 2008 through 2011, resulting in the accumulation of a substantial tax liability. Although Husband or his accountant prepared tax returns for 2008, 2009, and 2010, and Husband presented the returns to Wife for her signature, he subsequently failed to file them. Because federal and state taxes were withheld from Wife's paychecks, the tax liability arose from Husband's failure to pay taxes on income earned while operating his own business.

On January 26, 2012, Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. A final hearing was held on January 23, 2013, at which Husband admitted to failing to timely file income tax returns from 2008 through 2011. At the time of the final hearing, the total outstanding tax liability was approximately $29,000, which included $3,403 in assessed penalties due to Husband's failure to timely file tax returns. Husband testified that once he filed the returns and determined his tax liability, he entered into a payment plan with the IRS, but he failed to make payments as required. Wife testified that she was unaware that taxes were owed until she was ...


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