Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In Re Marriage of Bonvino (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 10, 2015)

"Husband married Dawnel E. Stolteben Bonvino (wife) on October 2, 1993. He stopped making contributions to his retirement plans at Hill-Rom [his employer] as of the marriage date in order to keep his accumulated earnings in those plans as his separate property. . . . Husband found another job in sales at COHR, Inc. in Chatsworth, California. Wife stopped working after their son was born in 1996. They decided to move to a neighborhood closer to husband’s job and more suitable for raising a family. They found a property for sale in Westlake Village . . . . Husband applied for a loan in the amount of $328,000, which included $319,787.50 for the remainder of the purchase price and $8,212.50 for the loan’s closing costs and prepaid items. The loan application stated the title to the Westlake Village property would be held in the name of Frank Bonvino, as 'married sole and separate.' . . . The deed of trust reflects that Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation made the loan of $328,000. Wife did not sign the loan or escrow documents. On November 15, 1996, husband drove wife to a notary to sign a quitclaim deed for the Westlake Village property. Both husband and the notary told her that signing the quitclaim deed was a mere formality."

When you're making sure to keep your separate property separate during a marriage, you're probably trying to do so for a reason.  Whether your spouse knows so or not.

The marriage here does indeed eventually terminate.  Leading to a fight.  That the Court of Appeal holds the husband may well (at least partially) win.