In Re Estate of Kobylski


178 Wis.2d 158, 503 N.W.2d 369 (WI Ct. App., 1993)


(1) When marital funds are used to improve separate property the improvements acquire the classification of the underlying property. However, the marital estate has a right of reimbursement for the funds expended by the community. The reimbursement is measured by the property’s enhanced value attributable to the improvements, not the amount of marital funds expended. Party seeking reimbursement has the burden to prove the funds have enhanced the value of the separate property. (2) A marital property component is created if non-owning spouse applied substantial labor or skill with no compensation, resulting in a substantial appreciation. This labor does not reclassify the whole property. (3) Work by painting and yard work is routine, normal and usual maintenance and does not create a marital property component.

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