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Marriage of Sullivan

Supreme Court of California
691 P.2d 1020 (1984)


Facts

Mark Sullivan (plaintiff) and Janet Sullivan (defendant) were married in 1967. In 1968, Mark entered medical school. While Mark was in medical school, Janet continued to work part-time while she received her undergraduate degree, then full-time after she completed her degree. When Mark began his internship in 1972, Janet left her full-time position to move to Oregon with Mark and then found part time employment. Janet did not work from May 1974, when the couple's only child was born, until 1975, when she began a part-time position. During the next two years, Janet worked full-time while Mark finished his residency. Upon returning to California, Mark filed for divorce. The trial court held that the value of Mark's education in medical school was not community property. Janet appealed. During the course of the appeal, the California legislature modified California Civil Code §§ 4800.3 and 4320, both of which related to the contributions of one spouse toward the education and training of the other spouse for purposes of determining community-property interests and spousal support.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bird, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Mosk, J.)

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