Jodie Mohler v. Greg Mohler: Property DivisionJodie Mohler v. Greg Mohler: Property DivisionWalzer Melcher LLP
Jodie Mohler v. Greg Mohler (Property Division – Moore/Marsden – Watts Charges)
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District
Published Opinion (2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 788
Husband appeals from the trial court’s ruling that the Moore/Marsden rule applied to an increase in value of a separate and community property residence that husband lived in and paid for with separate property income after separation. Wife argued, and the court accepted, that principal payments made during marriage, and principal payments paid post-separation by Husband, be returned to the community, thus doubling the community’s interest in the property. The Court of Appeal held that Moore/Marsden should not be applied to Husband’s separate property payments on the principal.
The Court of Appeal held that the community should receive a return of not just the principal payment made during the marriage, but also its proportional share of the increase in equity beginning on the marriage date, regardless of the extent to which that equity increase occurred during the marriage or during the separation period prior to trial.
The Court also held that using Moore/Marsden to compensate the community for Greg’s post-separation occupation of the property was improper and that Watts charges may be levied against a spouse for their post-separation use of a property that is partially community property due to the Moore/Marsden rule.
Opinion: IRMO Mohler 4-13-20
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