TRANSMUTATIONS OF REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY (MARITAL AGREEMENTS)

A common purpose of marital agreements is to modify or prevent the application of California community property laws to all or some portions of the spouses’ property or income. Cal.Fam.Code § 1500.

Often times, spouses to a marriage agree between themselves to change the character of an asset from separate property to community property or community property to separate property. Before 1985, transmutations of real or personal property could be oral, written, or inferred from the conduct of parties. After 1985, transmutations must be in writing; signed by the spouse whose interest is adversely affected; explicitly state a change in ownership is being made, and identify the specific asset.

An exception to the writing requirement exists when there is a gift between spouses of tangible personal property not substantial in value taking into account the circumstances of the marriage.

If you or your spouse are thinking about changing the character of an asset, (real or personal) our family lawyers will assure that the marital agreement complies with all facets of general contract law requirements.