from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Timothy W.
Oakes, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49D02-1612-DR-44346
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Marvin Mitchell Richard J. Dick
Mitchell Dick McNelis, LLC Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Brian K. Zoeller Julie Andrews
Casandra L. Ringlespaugh Nicole Makris Cohen & Malad, LLP
Dina Hasten Cohen ("Wife") appeals the order of the
Marion Superior Court dissolving her marriage to Itamar Cohen
("Husband") and distributing the assets of the
marital estate between them. The trial court ordered Husband
to pay Wife an equalization payment of $922, 275.10, to be
paid at the rate of $6, 000 per month for seventy-two months,
with an additional balloon payment of $490, 250.10 within six
years. The trial court further ordered that no interest be
paid so long as Husband made timely payments, but that
interest would accrue if Husband missed any payments. Wife
appeals and argues that the trial court legally erred by
failing to include a provision for the payment of interest in
and Procedural History
As Wife has failed to provide us with a transcript of the
proceedings below, we derive our statement of the facts from
the trial court's dissolution decree. Husband and Wife
were married in March 1999. The marriage produced four
children, who at the time of the dissolution decree were aged
eighteen, thirteen, ten, and three.
On December 19, 2016, Husband filed a petition for
dissolution of his marriage to Wife. Fortunately, all issues
relating to the children were resolved by the parties'
Settlement Agreement as to Custody, Parenting Time, Child
Support, and Child Related Matters, which the trial court
approved on December 6, 2017. The parties disagreed, however,
on how to distribute the assets of the marital estate.
Accordingly, on March 7 and 8, 2018, the trial court held an
evidentiary hearing on this issue. On August 8, 2018, the
trial court entered its dissolution decree, awarding to
Husband several income-producing commercial properties and
awarding the marital residence to Wife. The income-producing
properties represented a substantial portion of the marital
estate. Therefore, the trial court ordered Husband to pay to
Wife an equalization payment as follows:
The balance of the above leaves the Husband with a net of $2,
070, 180.40 and Wife $225, 630.21, for difference of $1, 844,
550.20. Therefore, the Court seeing no reason to deviate from
the statutory presumptive of a 50/50 asset split DECREES the
Wife shall be awarded a judgment against Husband in the
amount of $922, 275.10 to be repaid at a rate of $6, 000 per
month for seventy-two (72) months, along with a balloon
payment of $490, 275.10 on or before the end of the six (6)
years. So long as all payments are made by the 1st
of each month no interest shall accrue on those payments, but
if any payments are missed the judgment begins accruing
Appellant's App. p. 22. Wife now appeals.
A trial court must divide the property of the parties to a
marital dissolution in a just and reasonable manner. Webb
v. Schleutker, 891 N.E.2d 1144, 1153 (Ind.Ct.App. 2008)
(citing Ind. Code § 31-15-7-4(a)). An equal division of
marital property is presumed to be just and reasonable.
Id. (citing Ind. Code § 31-15-7-5). Decisions
concerning the division and distribution of marital assets
lie within the sound discretion of the trial court.
Fischer v. Fischer, 68 N.E.3d 603, 608 (Ind.Ct.App.
2017), trans. denied (citing Keown v.
Keown, 883 N.E.2d 865, 868 (Ind.Ct.App. 2008)). On
appeal, we review the trial court's decision only for an
abuse of that discretion. Id. A trial court abuses
its discretion only when its decision is clearly against the
logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the
court. Id. When we review a challenge to the trial
court's division of marital assets, we consider only the
evidence most favorable to the trial court's disposition,
and we will neither reweigh the evidence nor assess the
credibility of witnesses. Id.
Wife argues on appeal that the trial court erred by ordering
Husband to pay her an equalization payment over a period of
six year without including an award of interest unless
Husband fails to timely make a payment. Wife argues that by
failing to include a provision for interest, the trial
court's order fails to take into consideration the time
value of money, the risk of non-payment, and inflation. Wife
contends that, when taking ...