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Marriage of Marsden

California Court of Appeal
181 Cal. Rptr. 910 (1982)


In 1962, the husband bought a house with a down payment and the proceeds of a loan, for $38,300. In 1971, the husband married the wife. At the time of the marriage, the fair market value of the house was $65,000. During the marriage, the couple made community payments to pay down the home loan. In 1978, the parties separated. In the marriage-dissolution proceeding, the trial court calculated the husband’s separate property interest by adding the husband’s down payment to the proceeds of the loan, and then subtracting the amount that the community property had paid down the loan during the marriage. The court then took that amount and divided it by the purchase price to get the husband’s separate-property percentage. The husband appealed, arguing that he should get credit for the property’s appreciation in value after his purchase but before the marriage. The husband claimed that his separate property interest percentage should be based on the fair market value of the house at the time of the marriage, rather than his purchase price for the house.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Barry-Deal, J.)

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