Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Under Cal. Civ. Code § 163, the "ownership" in the husband through and by virtue of which the wife's interest would be entirely excluded, is necessarily an absolute ownership, as distinguished from a limited ownership, and that, so far as community funds might participate in the acquisition or protection of vested rights, to that extent proportionally should the property be considered as "community."
Before the parties married they both examined a home and decided to purchase it. The husband purchased the lot. The parties married and took possession of the home. One-fifth of the principal was paid using community funds. In the parties’ divorce action, it was held that the wife had no title or interest in the aforementioned property, and that the husband had entire ownership of the same. The wife appealed.
Under the circumstances, did the husband have the entire ownership of the home?
The court found that a married couple could by agreement change the status of separate property to community property and vice versa. While the parties had no agreement to treat the home as community property, by their actions it was reasonable to find that they considered the property community. Under Cal. Civ. Code § 163, "ownership" by the husband required absolute ownership and to the extent community funds were used to acquire property in which the husband initially had partial ownership, proportionally was the property considered community. Thus, the community interest was entitled to a share of title to the property in the same proportion as the amount contributed to the purchase price by the community.