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Appeals Court Rules on Community Funds Spent on Retirement Credits

The California criminal appeals court, the Sixth District Court of Appeals, just ruled that if community funds are used to repurchase retirement service credits then the community has an interest in those service credits and not merely a right of reimbursement. In the case of In re Marriage of Sonne, Husband repurchased Public Employees Retirement System service credits that he had lost as a result of dissolution in his prior marriage. He remarried and community funds were used to repurchase or “buy back” these service credits. Husband asserted that the service credits were his separate property because his was buying backs credits for service prior to his current marriage. Husband further asserted that the community was only entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of the repurchase. The Court of Appeals rejected his argument and ruled that since community funds were used to buy back these service credits the community had an interest in the service credits.

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