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California law recognizes two doctrines related to the use of community property after legal separation and before judgment of divorce:
Watts Charges. These are payments by a spouse for the fair market value of community property that the other spouse is not using.
Epstein credits. These are payments made to cover a spouse's fair value obligation owed for the maintenance of community property.
A court will not generally impose Watts charges prior to the date that the other party provides written notice that he/she intends to seek these charges from the court. Consequently, your response is that while your spouse may have a claim going forward, she has no claim from April until the present date. Whereas, your spouse owes Epstein credits to reimburse you for the upkeep of the community property.
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