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Marriage of Aufmuth

California Court of Appeal
152 Cal. Rptr. 668 (1979)


Facts

Marcia Aufmuth and Lawrence Aufmuth were married. The parties bought a house with the help of a down payment supplied by Marcia and a home loan signed by both parties. At the time of the loan application, Marcia had no assets aside from the down payment and was not employed. Lawrence had recently graduated law school, and his law practice was the couple’s sole source of income. The parties took title to the property jointly. The fair market value of the house increased in the years before the parties filed for dissolution of the marriage. The trial court found both separate and community interests in the house. The court established the proportional separate and community interests based on the amount of the down payment and the loan. The court then increased the value of each interest proportionally according to the increase in fair market value of the house. Both parties appealed. Marcia claimed that the entire house was her separate property, with Lawrence holding only a right to reimbursement. Lawrence claimed that any equity in the house was community property.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McGuire, J.)

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