A husband owns a 4 unit bldg, acquired before the marriage. The rental income is deposited into an acct in his name, into which he also deposits his paycheck and IRS refunds after the marriage (ie, community property). Out of this money the mortgage is paid on the rental property, as well as family expenses. Is the account "commingled"? Is the wife entitled to a portion of the property as a result? If the rental income covers the mortgage but not the taxes, and the taxes are paid with joint income, is the spouse entitled to a portion of the property? Similarly if she contributed money to the maintenance of the property. (Assume no pre-nup, property title in husband's name).
There will be no interest in the property itself. It is more likely, if it can be shown that community property was used to pay expenses on separate property, the community is entitled to reimbursement. It will be an accounting exercise. Reimbursement rights do not give an interest in the property itself. If you are not consulting with an attorney, you should be.
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I agree with Mr. Scherwin. Sorting this out will take some attention. Not only will you need the help of an attorney in your area, you may also need to hire a forensic accoutant to help with tracing the funds. The longer that the situation you have described has been in place, the more difficult it will be to determine the actual allocation of community property and separate property interests. Before you decide to commit significant resources to this project, you should also consider your overall potential recovery.
Husband is commingling separate property with community prpoerty. The rental income from separate property source and the tax refunds/ marital earnings are joint or community.
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It sounds as if you have created more of an accounting nightmare rather than a possibility of your wife establishing an ownership interest in the property. Your wife still has a right to reimbursement for al community funds that were used for the benefit of your rentals. This really is terrible accounting practice and in certain circumstances this could have a catastrophic result. If funds become so co-mingled that’s impossible to resolve the reimbursement issues, the Court will take equitable action and this will give the Judge a wide range of discretion. With your particular facts I believe an accounting could be adequately performed.
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