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Marriage of Graham

Court of Appeals of California
109 Cal. App. 4th 1321 (2003)


Katherine (defendant) and Jeffrey Graham (plaintiff) were married in 1992. Jeffrey enrolled in law school in 1994. While Jeffrey was in law school, Jeffrey also served as a police officer for the Costa Mesa Police Department. Katherine and Jeffrey spent over $12,000 in community funds for Jeffrey’s legal education. In 1999, Jeffrey filed for divorce. At the time of his filing for divorce, Jeffrey had one semester of law school left to complete and did not plan to take the bar exam. Katherine requested that the trial court reimburse her for her contributions toward the costs associated with Jeffrey’s legal education. Jeffrey testified that he never intended to become an attorney and merely attended law school to pursue an education. Jeffrey was also making over $4,400 a month working for the police department. The trial court denied Katherine’s request, finding that Jeffrey’s legal education did not substantially enhance Jeffrey’s earning capacity. Katherine appealed the trial court’s ruling on this issue.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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