Epstein Credits v. Watts Charges

Legal Court

Epstein Credits v. Watts Charges

Epstein Credits:

Epstein credits are when post separation a spouse pays for community property debt and is entitled to reimbursements.  For example, if you are paying for credit card debt that the community incurred you are entitled to receive half in reimbursements of those payments because it is a community obligation.    Your separate property funds are not liable for 100% of that debt so you are entitled to reimbursements.  Similarly,  the spouse paying bills for items that the other spouse is in exclusive obsession of, the payor spouse is entitled to full reimbursement.  Post separation, the spouse that normally paid for the other’s cell phone bill, car payments, can stop.  That spouse can discontinue your cell phone and car payments because you are now in exclusive possession of it.  Epstein credits are normally for community debts. So think of credit card payments which is a community obligation if incurred during marriage.  If the payor used post separation funds to make payments the payor spouse is entitled t reimbursements.


Watts Charges:

Watts Charges are when a person has sole possession of a home and the ousted spouse receives the half of fair market rental value minus the mortgage and maintenance of the property.   Although case law does not require this, to obtain Watt’s charges a party must have been ousted.  If one party voluntarily leaves then requests half of rental fair market value, that does not work.  Watts charges are very litigious and very much defended or pursued.   To pursue Watts charges an appraisal should be done on the property to get an accurate fair rental market value.