Family Code 2640 allows a party who uses separate property money (money either acquired before the marriage or through some separate property source, such as inheritance) to acquire property. What this means is that party who, for instance, takes $50,000 he or she had saved before the marriage, and pays it as the down payment on a community property residence, to be reimbursed for that amount during a dissolution of marriage. There is a burden of proof on the other party to show that there is an agreement that the money would be a gift, etc., or the reimbursement will be applied.
There are some limitations to this section, however. It only applies to the principle paid—not interest payments, expenses, or other items. In addition, there is no interest on the money, and no appreciation due if the property has become more valuable during the marriage.
This does not mean that parties cannot agree that such items are reimbursable, but the burden of proof is on the person wanting reimbursement of those items to show that there was an actual agreement for reimbursement.
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