Marriage of Jafeman

105 Cal. Rptr. 483 (1972)

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Marriage of Jafeman

California Court of Appeals
105 Cal. Rptr. 483 (1972)

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Facts

When Mary Jafeman (plaintiff) and Edward Jafeman (defendant) married, Mary moved into Edward’s house. They lived there for the duration of their 17-year marriage and used community-property earnings to both pay down the mortgage and make improvements. They never discussed ownership of the home, and Edward never added Mary to the title. In the eventual divorce proceeding, the spouses disputed, among other things, proper characterization of the house. Mary argued that the house was community property divisible between the spouses. She claimed that they both regularly referred to the house as “our home,” that they had both intended the house to be community property, and that, until shortly before divorce, she believed that title was in their joint names. Edward contested, arguing that the house was his separate property. He claimed that they did not refer to the house as “our home” but instead always differentiated between Edward’s house and Mary’s house from before marriage, which she still owned. The trial court granted the divorce and held that the marital home was community property. Edward appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Molinari, J.)

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