California Family Law Attorney

THURMAN'S FAMILY LAW TIPS - WHAT IS A "TRANSMUTATION"?

Family Code Section 850

Tranmutations are interspousal transactions that operate to change the character of property from separate to community property, from community to separate property, or from the separate property of one to the separate property of the other. Transmutations can only occur between spouses or registered domestic partners, and don't involve third parties (i.e., sellers). The concept does not apply to the initial acquisition of property, but instead to property that is already owned by one or both spouses. Both personal property (i.e., cars) and real property (i.e., the family residence) can be transmuted.

Family Code section 850 simply recognizes that they have the legal ability to transmute or change the character of their interests. The key transmutation statute of Family Code section 852 which describes what is required in order to create a valid and binding transmutation.

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CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE

CHARACTERIZATION OF MARITAL PROPERTY

TRANSMUTATION OF PROPERTY

Family Code Section 850

Subject to Sections 851 to 853, inclusive, married persons may by agreement or transfer, with or without consideration, do any of the following:
(a) Transmute community property to separate property of either spouse.
(b) Transmute separate property of either spouse to community property.
(c) Transmute separate property of one spouse to separate property of the other spouse.