I bet you never associated “Transmutation” with Divorce…

In Georgia, courts will divide the assets of a divorcing couple based upon tenets of “equitable division.”   Equitably dividing up assets (and debts) is not necessarily based upon clear formulas and terms such as the “source of funds” and “transmutation” affect the division.

Transmutation, for example, refers to the transformation of “separate property” that may not be subject to division (such as an inheritance) to  “marital property subject to equitable division,” whether through a transfer of title in some cases or commingling of the asset.   For example, groom’s car is titled only in his name prior to the marriage.  After the marriage, he transfers the car title to both his and his wife’s name.  Arguably, the car has been transmuted to marital property through that action.  Not every instance of transmutation is so straight forward.

Transmutation is an issue that often arises in disentangling  spouses in the divorce process.  Where the issues are fairly complicated, it certainly is a reason to take the issue to mediation or arbitration.

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