What are Jeffries Credits?
Jeffries Credits, in short, is reimbursement for the mortgage payment on a home the other spouse has sole possession of after separation.
A case called In Re Marriage of Jeffries held that payments made on a mortgage by the spouse who does not have exclusive possession of the home is entitled to reimbursements. So if Spouse A remained in the marital residence and Spouse B moved out but Spouse B continued to make payments on the home the Spouse B is entitled to full reimbursement because this was an obligation on the part of Spouse A since she/he has sole and exclusive possession of the property. The courts found that Spouse A came out ahead and Spouse B was at a loss in the amount he/she paid.
The Appellate Court also looked at prior case law; there are two other important cases that are along the same lines. These are Epstein Credits and Watts Charges both were court findings prior to In Re Marriage of Jeffries that helped the court decide on its rulings. Epstein Credits are reimbursements to a spouse for paying marital debt through separate property funds post separation. It is important to note that it must be post separation because any payments made during marriage from a separate property funds to a community property obligation or vice versa would be considered a gift. However, if for example, you pay marital expenses such as tax liabilities, utilities and/or credit card debts from your post separation income then you would be entitled to a reimbursement for half of the amount paid.
Watts Charges is a pay out from one spouse to another for half of the fair rental value of a property that a spouse has sole possession of above the mortgage payment and maintenance of the home.
Watts Charges, Jeffries Credits and Epstein Credits are fair and justifiable legal authority for reimbursements. Once the parties have separated they are responsible for their own expense and any payments made by the other spouse must be reimbursed as if it was paid on a loan.