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Marriage of Geraci

California Court of Appeal
51 Cal. Rptr. 3d 234 (2006)


Facts

In 1973, John Geraci (defendant) bought a house for $43,000. In 1980, John razed the house and built a new house. Also in 1980, John and Jane Geraci (plaintiff) began living together in the new house. In 1983, the parties got married. Over the course of the marriage, the parties refinanced the house or took out a home equity loan six times. In 2000, the couple separated and sold the house for $974,000, $354,000 of which constituted net gain. The couple split this amount, with Jane keeping $159,000 and John keeping $194,000. In 2001, Jane filed for dissolution of the marriage. John presented evidence that the house had a fair market value of $400,000 when John and Jane got married. Based on that, John sought an order permitting him to keep the entire $354,000 from the sale. There was no evidence of John’s equity in the property at the time the house was built. The trial court ruled against John and enforced the parties’ pre-dissolution split of the sale proceeds.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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