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Marriage of Bouquet

Supreme Court of California
16 Cal. 3d 583 (1976)


Harry (defendant) and Ima (plaintiff) Bouquet were married in 1941. The couple separated on March 2, 1969. Ima filed for divorce and dissolution of marital property on April 20, 1971. On March 4, 1972, California Family Code § 5118 was amended by the legislature. The amendment changed the prior law to provide that both spouses’ earnings during a term of separation are considered separate property. The earlier law stated that a wife’s earnings during separation were her separate property, but the husband’s earnings during separation were community property. Harry amended his response and asked the court to find that his earnings from March 2, 1969 forward were his separate property. The trial court rejected Harry’s request and instead found that Harry’s earnings from the date of the amendment forward were his separate property. Harry appealed the trial court’s ruling.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, J.)

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