Select Page

Community Property/Marital Property
University of California, Davis School of Law
Ikemoto, Lisa C.

Is there a valid marriage (but not an issue on exam)
                                                              i.      License
                                                            ii.      Witness
                                                          iii.      Registered
Anything earned during separation but before divorce is sp
Are there any agreements that would bypass the CP system?
                                                              i.      Premarital agreements? (pre 86 use cl rules post 86 apply the Cali Premarital agreement act)
1.      in writing signed by both parties, no consideration needed
a.      estoppel is applied to SOF if unjust enrichment or detrimental reliance Sheldon
2.      voluntary (Bonds)(1615), not unconscionable
3.      does not promote or encourage divorce Dawley, Noghrey
                                                            ii.      Transmutation?
1.      before 85, no SOF
a.      just show intent of person losing the right Jafeman
b.      exception: always need a writing to create a Joint Tenancy
2.      after 85, §852 requires an express declaration Macdonald:
a.      writing
b.      direct reference to the property
c.       character of property being changed
                                                          iii.      If so,
1.      is the agreement valid?
2.      what is the scope? Does it apply to the one asset or all their property? She will not give us an agreement that applies to all their property.
If it is CP then apply check list:
                                                              i.      General presumption
1.      760: acquired during marriage is cp Lynam
a.      rebut: by tracing it to sp
                                                            ii.      MWSP 803
1.      (acquired before 75, by married woman only in writing>SP), (acquired before 75, by married woman and any other person >TIC), (by married woman and husband>CP)
2.      rebut:
a.      H had no control Louknitsky,
b.      did not intend as a gift Holmes
                                                          iii.      JT Presumption (overpowers mwsp)
1.      Cl joint tenancy
a.      Applies to death or divorce
b.      If deed says Joint Tenancy then it is Joint Tenancy, this is what was intended Schindler
                                                                                                                                      i.      Rebut: conduct and declarations of parties otherwise (does not need writing) Bowman
2.      1965: if joint form (Joint Tenancy, TIC, CP) presume cp
a.      rebutted by mutual understanding or agreement otherwise
3.      Lucas (broader statement of 65 law)
a.      only triggered on divorce
b.      Joint Title, TIC and Joint Tenancy are presumed to be CP
                                                                                                                                      i.      Rebutted: by showing mutual agreement this is not what H and W intended (do not need a writing—any evidence will do). 
4.      1984 anti lucas laws
a.      4800.1  (4800.1 (1987) is 2580 to 2581)
                                                                                                                                      i.      only on divorce
                                                                                                                                    ii.      only Joint tenancy> CP
1.      Rebutted: by clear statement in writing that they wanted sp
                                                                                                                                  iii.      (after 87) Can be applies retro: Hilke
1.      but cant hurt vested right
2.      or offend dp Buol
b.      4800.2 (4800.2 (1987) is 2640

is applies the rule of reimbursement) v. selfless
Commingled accounts (accounts with sp and cp mixed together):
                                                              i.      Available cp funds are presumed to have been used to pay family expenses (sp funds are deemed to have been used only when the cp are exhausted)
                                                            ii.      When sp is used to pay family expenses, the sp has no right to reimbursement unless the parties have agreed otherwise. See
                                                          iii.      General presumption is commingled funds are presumed cp to show sp then you have to trace…
1.      exhaustion See or
2.      direct tracing (Nix approved but not applied)
a.      once you commingled you assume the burden of keeping records (hard to trace without the record) Frick
3.      not recapitulation unless situation in Beam (that is when through no fault of the one party records could not have been kept)
Business apportioning: 
                                                              i.      starting point for all of these is the General Presumption—that acquired during the marriage is CP 
1.      if SP business the community labor still goes to cp
                                                            ii.      argue two methods of apportioning
1.      Van camp– character of capital
2.      Pereira– reasonable value of community labor
                                                          iii.      Come up with a number for cp then deduct cp expenses—what is left is cp