Family Code Section 2641 provides that the community shall be reimbursed for community contributions to education or training of a party that substantially enhances the earning capacity of the party. Additionally, the amount reimbursed includes interest at the legal rate (currently 10 %) calculated from the end of the calendar year in which the contributions were made. This includes both direct contributions and payments on loans for education or training.
Under certain circumstances the community reimbursement for contributions to education or training shall be reduced or modified, including:
- The community has substantially benefitted from the spouse’s education or training. There is a rebuttable presumption that if it has been more than 10 years since the contribution was made, the community has substantially benefitted.
- Education or training received by one spouse is offset by education or training received by the other spouse.
- The education received by one spouse enables that spouse to engage in gainful employment that substantially reduces their need for support.
Family Code Section 2641 further provides that reimbursement for community contributions based on the factors above is the exclusive remedy for said contributions. There is no reimbursement for ordinary living expenses that the parties would incur regardless of the education or training . Marriage of Watts (1989). Furthermore, there is no value assigned to a spouse’s education or training that is subject to division. However, any remaining loan incurred during marriage for education or training is assigned to the spouse who received the education or training. Such loans are not divisible as applies to other debts acquired during marriage.
Contributions to a spouse’s education or training are also considered in determining spousal support under Family Code section 4320. This section does consider contributions for ordinary living expenses. Lastly, reimbursements under Family Code section 2641 are subject to an express written agreement of the parties, i.e. Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement.
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