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Apportioning Community and Separate Interests in Real Property

[1] General Concept of Apportionment

Apportionment typically involves a calculation of the percentage of community and separate interests, respectively, in the entire property. Unless the property is clearly of one character alone, a court usually will first characterize it as being primarily separate or community property and then evaluate any additional interests by applying one of the apportionment methods developed in case law (see [2], below).

A court also may find that the property is of a single character, but that contributions to its acquisition or improvement must be reimbursed to separate or community property. Thus, for example, if the court determines that separate property reimbursement only is appropriate for contributions to the acquisition of community realty, it will determine the reimbursement amount under Family Code Section 2640 if this statute otherwise applies.

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