“What Are ‘Epstein’ Credits?”

Epstein credits, sometimes called reimbursement claims, are credits for repayment which one party to a divorce claims should be reimbursed to them from the community property of the marriage at the time of dissolution. The begin to accrue when one party makes post-separation payments with separate property (usually income made after the separation) on community debts or for other purposes.

There are several requirements for Epstein credits to be granted.

First, they must be documented—you must keep track of how much has been paid, the source of the funds for the payment, and back this up with bank statements and other financial statements.

Second, the payment must be for the community’s benefit—that is, it must be a payment on something that was either a community debt, which preserves a community asset, or which benefits the community estate in some way.

Third, the payment cannot benefit only the payor. That is, it cannot be a payment on something that is either only used by the payor, or something that only affects their side of the financial ledger. For instance, the party who has possession of a leased vehicle cannot then claim that the payments made should be credited back, since there was no benefit to the community and the payor used the vehicle.

Epstein credits occur most often where one party has to pay community debt, such as credit cards or taxes, but there are a variety of other cases in which they may apply on a case-by-case basis.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.
NOTICE: This blog and all materials on our website constitute advertisement materials, and the promulgation of such materials is meant of the residents of the State of California only. The attorneys and this firm to not practice law in any other state. In addition, the promulgation of these articles does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship and any inquiries and information you may send to the attorneys should be general and not specific, as it is not confidential.