Brooks: Separate Property; Equitable Appointment

In re Marriage of Brooks (Separate Property; Equitable Appointment)

California Court of Appeal, Sixth District

Published Opinion, (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 576

File Date:
Filed 3-27-2019

In the In re Marriage of Brooks (Separate Property; Equitable Appointment) case, the husband owned stock in a business he started prior to marriage, which increased in value during marriage. The family court applied the Van Camp formula to apportion the appreciation of the stock during the marriage, finding that the husband’s efforts were not the primary factor in the growth of the stock during marriage. It was husband’s pre-marital efforts that contributed to the success of the company because he developed a software program that was released before the parties married.

During marriage, his contribution was not significant to the company’s growth and was equal to the contributions made by every other employee. The family court characterized the increased value of the stock during marriage as a return on the Husband’s separate property, which was his separate property. The community was adequately compensated by the husband’s earnings from the company during the marriage. The appellate court affirmed.

Brooks 3-27-19

The case listed here was not handled by Walzer Melcher unless the description states that Walzer Melcher appeared as counsel.