When divorcing in California, both parties are entitled to reimbursement for any contributions they might make toward the acquisition of property so long as they can adequately trace them to a separate property source.

According to the case In re Marriage of Braud (1996) 45 Cal. App.4th 797, 823,

the asset in dispute, under the “direct tracing” method, is traced to the withdrawal of separate property funds from the commingled account.  This method requires specific records that reconstruct each and every separate and community property deposit, and each separate and community property payment as it occurs.

The case of In re Marriage of Higinbotham (1998) 203 Cal.App.3d 322, 329, requires that records be adequately kept to demonstrate there were sufficient separate property funds available in the account to cover the payment at the time it was made.

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