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Estate of Vargas

Court of Appeal of California
111 Cal. Rptr. 779 (1974)


Facts

Juan Vargas married Mildred Vargas (plaintiff) in 1929, and they had children, continued to live together, and remained married until Juan's death in a car accident in 1969. While Juan was sometimes gone from the household for what Mildred believed in good faith was business, he was not absent for more than 10 days at any time. In 1945, Josephine Vargas (defendant) married Juan Vargas with the good-faith belief that Juan was divorced. Josephine and Juan had children and continued to live as a husband and wife from 1945 until Juan's death. Josephine was told by Juan, and believed in good faith, that he spent the nights in Long Beach in order to be close to his business, though Juan continued to eat dinner with Josephine and their children and be present during evenings and weekends regularly. The assets comprising the value of Juan's estate had not been acquired until after 1945, when Juan was actively managing both relationships and families. The probate court divided Juan's estate equally between Mildred and Josephine. Mildred appealed the probate court's decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fleming, J.)

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