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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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I live in the Bay Area in San Francisco and getting a divorce.

Resolved Question:

I live in the Bay Area in San Francisco and getting a divorce. My wife inherited a substantial amount of money while we were married. Most of this money was used to create a stock portfolio in both of our names. That portfolio was recently cashed out and my wife deposited the money into 2 cd accounts. My wife is claiming the inherited money as separate property. Can she do so?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 7 years ago.
No she can no longer claim that amount as separate property. Once she takes separate property and converts it to a benefit for the marriage, that amount is considered "transmuted", to mean that she has changed the classification of that property into community property. She cannot go back and change it to separate property, so NO she cannot do that, that would be community property.

You can review the laws on transmutation for California here

Summary of law below:

Transmutation: Both before and during marriage, spouses may agree to change the status of any or all of their property (presently owned or thereafter acquired); i.e., they can convert separate into community property, community into separate property, or separate property of one into separate property of the other. [Ca Fam § 850(a),(b) & (c); see also Ca Fam § 1500--spouse's property rights prescribed by statute may be altered by premarital agreement or marital property agreement] The process is commonly referred to as "transmutation."


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