Could Dr. Hasel of Mt. Carmel Hospital Transfer Ownership of a House? Can You Adopt Your Adult Girlfriend to Protect Assets?
At the conclusion of the divorce or dissolution, the house either becomes the exclusive property of one of the spouses, or gets sold. By agreement or by order of the court after a trial, this type of transfer of the house is allowed.
But what would happen, hypothetically, if Dr. Hasel of Mount Carmel …facing a multitude of lawsuits in the Mt. Carmel Hospital litigation ….decided to transfer ownership of his house so that this asset was protected from judgment? Certainly, he would not want to lose the house, right? So, again hypothetically, if there is a judgment against him in the future (or more realistically many judgments), the litigant who obtained the judgment would be able to put a lien on the house, and commence foreclosure in order to obtain some of the money he may owe on the judgment against him. If Dr. Hasel transferred ownership to his wife (if he had one), or transferred ownership to a parent or friend, such a judgment would be considered as fraudulent because the transfer was done with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud creditors!
But, through a divorce or dissolution process…or even through the process of a Legal Separation, property can be transferred to a spouse, by a court order, and such would not be considered a fraudulent conveyance.
In an attempt to be creative, and to protect assets, let’s visit 2012 and check out the posh lifestyle of Wellington, Florida…home to polo players and the rich and famous. John Goodman (no, not the actor) was unmarried, but he had a 42 year old girlfriend named Heather. Mr. Goodman was facing a lawsuit that could have cost him everything he owned, after he was responsible for the death of a young man due to a car accident. He also was facing 30 years in prison for leaving the scene.
Not being able to do much about the issue of prison, Mr. Goodman decided to try to protect his assets against a potential civil action brought by the grieving parents of the deceased young man, by ADOPTING his adult girlfriend, and having her control 1/3 of his trust, which was worth several hundred million dollars. After the adoption was final, luckily it was overturned and voided, and was seen as what it was…a ploy to protect assets against creditors. In this case, the creditors would have been the parents of the deceased.
Excellent attorneys are knowledgeable in the area of such fraudulent conveyances. The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA are ready to be your attorneys to lawfully protect your assets, and to obtain your judgment.