How Family Code Section 2640 Affects Every Marriage in California


Have you or your spouse ever used your separate property to make purchases or contributions for family property under the belief that it was a gift? If so, this article is for you. Most people are aware that contracts for certain items must be in writing. What most people are not aware of, however, is that certain gifts must be re-paid even without a contract if their spouse has not waived their right to reimbursement in a signed writing.

California Family Code Section 2640(b) states that, “In the division of the community estate under this division, unless a party has made a written waiver of the right to reimbursement or has signed a writing that has the effect of a waiver, the party shall be reimbursed for the party’s contributions to the acquisition of property of the community property estate to the extent the party traces the contributions to a separate property source.” Reimbursements will usually be allowed for down payments on houses, payments for improvements, and payments that reduce the principal of a loan used to finance the purchase or improvement of property.

Although not often needed in family law, written agreements can be valuable for the purpose of ensuring you both remember that at the time that certain separate property contributions were made you were both on the same page, which can help protect your future interests.

Authored by IRWIN & IRWIN.

IRWIN & IRWIN Family Law is located in Fullerton, California. We provide a full suite of family law services from divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody issues, domestic violence restraining orders and representing minors in court. “Everyone’s circumstances are different, and divorce is often the most challenging life event many people will experience. Our team is here to help advise and guide you through the process,” says Mark Irwin, Managing Partner at the firm.