California Court of Appeal
96 Cal. App. 3d 43 (1979)
Mr. Ashodian (plaintiff) and Mrs. Ashodian (defendant) were married in 1943. Mrs. Ashodian ran a business called Belle Realty. During the years 1962–1965, the Ashodians purchased and sold two pieces of property in both Mr. and Mrs. Ashodian’s names. Mr. Ashodian decided that he did not wish to participate any longer in the operations of Belle Realty and informed Mrs. Ashodian of this. Mrs. Ashodian then operated the company, purchasing and selling multiple properties solely in her name. In 1974, the Ashodians separated, following which Mr. Ashodian learned that properties had been purchased and sold solely in Mrs. Ashodian’s name. During the marriage, Mr. Ashodian was aware that Belle Realty had tax problems. Mr. Ashodian also signed grant deeds for two of the properties during the Ashodians’ marriage. In 1975, Mr. Ashodian filed for divorce and claimed that all the property was community property. Mrs. Ashodian relied on the presumption created by California Civil Code § 5110 that all property acquired prior to 1975 by a woman during a marriage through written documents is presumed to be the wife’s separate property. The trial court agreed with Mrs. Ashodian and declared that the properties and the income they generated were Mrs. Ashodian’s separate property. Mr. Ashodian appealed the trial court’s ruling.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stephens, J.)
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