Post Separation Payments

Community Payment Towards Separate Property Give the Community an Interest

In Bono v. Clark the court determined whether or not any contributions of community property towards the improvement of separate real property results in the community having an interest in the separate real property.

The parties had been married for more than seventeen years. The husband owned a mobile home before the parties were married. During the marriage, the spouses invested community funds to make improvements to the home. The husband filed for divorce, but before the divorce was final, he passed away. The wife then filed this civil action against her husband’s estate. Her husband’s son was the executor of the estate.

In court, the wife argued that the community was entitled to an interest in the mobile home due to the fact that it contributed to the mobile home’s improvement. The trial court disagreed with the wife finding that the contribution by the community was a gift. The wife appealed.

The appellate court agreed with the wife. It held that any community funds used to make improvements to real property will be reimbursed dollar for dollar unless that investment increases the value of the home. If it increases the value of the home, the community will receive a pro tanto interest in the husband’s separate property.

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Ornge County to address a dissolution issue such as characterization of property or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, child support, spousal support and/or property division, consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.

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