DID YOU KNOW BY ATTORNEY F.M. ZAVALA

Reimbursement Issues

[1] Separate Property Contributions to Acquisition of Community Property

For the purpose of dividing the community estate in proceedings for marital dissolution or legal separation, unless a party has made a written waiver of the right to reimbursement or has signed a writing that has the effect of a waiver. In re Marriage of Carpenter (2002) 100 Cal. App. 4th 424, 427–429.


The party must be reimbursed for his or her contributions to the acquisition of the property to the extent the party traces the contributions to a separate property source. In re Marriage of Cochran (2001) 87 Cal. App. 4th 1050, 1059.


The amount reimbursed must be without interest or adjustment for change in monetary values and must not exceed the net value of the property at the time of the division. Fam. Code § 2640(b)


“Contributions to the acquisition of property,” as used in the separate property reimbursement statute, include down payments, payments for improvements, and payments that reduce the principal of a loan used to finance the purchase or improvement of the property. The term does not, however, include payments of interest on the loan of the note or payments made for maintenance, insurance, or taxation of the property.

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