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The Court Shall Reserve Jurisdiction to Divide Assets with an Uncertain Value

In Munguia, Husband and Wife owned a tavern.  The tavern building was leased and thus the value of the business was dependent upon whether or not the lease would be renewed.  If the lease was not renewed the business was valued at approximately $40,000.  If the lease was renewed for an additional five years the value of the business would be approximately $75,000.  Wife’s divorce attorney requested that the divorce court reserve jurisdiction over the valuation of the business until lease issue was resolved. The divorce court denied Wife’s divorce lawyer’s request and valued the tavern at $42,000. Wife’s divorce lawyer appealed.

The First District agree with wife’s divorce attorney and reversed the divorce court’s decision stating that “[b]ecause of the great disparity in property value depending on whether or not the lease is renewed, the divorce court should have retained jurisdiction over the asset to insure an equal division of community property. . .”

In re Marriage of Munguia (1983) 146 Cal.App. 3d 853