Getting Credits or Reimbursements in a Divorce Case
In a divorce, a charge against a spouse’s share of community property made to reimburse the community for the value of his/her exclusive use of the property after separation (a spouse remains in the family residence) (Watts case).
Epstein CreditsThe basic policy of the Court is to encourage litigants to pay their bills by giving them appropriate Epstein credits for payments on community debts from separate property sources. I have a trial starting next Wednesday in San Diego and my client for 2 years have been paying all community debts (health insurance, car insurance, even vet bills) and I had his office manager compile all payments during this time so we can show the Court that since the date of separation, my client has been paying unilaterally without a court order all family/community debts. The Epstein issues should have been raised, discussed, and resolved at the earliest possible time, by his prior attorney, preferably no later than the time when temporary support was set. Allowing Epstein credit issues to go unresolved until trial creates an additional complex issue for settlement.
Presentation of Epstein creditsDeclarations and supporting exhibits (cancelled checks, bank statements) should be presented to both the Court and the opposing party. As for Watts's claims, written notice to the other party of the intent to seek such a credit should be made prior to the request from the Court. For this reason, notice should be given as early as possible in the litigation. In the absence of notice, the Court may conclude that the making and granting of the claims are not within the reasonable expectations of the parties. Declarations along with documents should be attached such as written appraisals of the fair market rental value of the property.