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Gilmore v. Gilmore

California Supreme Court
287 P.2d 769 (1955)


Mrs. Gilmore (plaintiff) and Mr. Gilmore (defendant) were married for six years. During the marriage, Mr. Gilmore partially owned and worked at three automobile dealerships. Mr. Gilmore worked only part-time and often took long vacations away from the dealerships. Even so, Mr. Gilmore received a substantial annual salary, and over the six years of his marriage to Mrs. Gilmore, the value of his ownership in the dealerships increased from $182,010.46 to $786,045.52. The evidence showed that during this timeframe, the value of automobile dealerships skyrocketed as sales of automobiles to the public proliferated. Thus, the value increase in Mr. Gilmore’s ownership interest in the dealerships was due wholly to his capital investment rather than to any work or effort by Mr. Gilmore. The trial court found that although Mr. Gilmore's annual salary was community income, the increase in the value of his ownership interests in the dealerships was Mr. Gilmore's separate income. Mrs. Gilmore appealed the trial court's decision as to the ownership interest.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, J.)

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