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Trust your spouse, but don’t be blind or deaf. Decided to transfer property rights, don’t forget to put it in writing. Marital Agreements and Transmutations.

Trust your spouse, but don’t be blind or deaf. Decided to transfer property rights, don’t forget to put it in writing. Marital Agreements and Transmutations.


We fall in love, get married and hope it will last forever. I hope you are right, but what if you are not?

Spouses have to openly communicate with, respect and trust each other in order to build a stronger bond between them.

It is also important to understand, that our life is so unpredictable. Can you honestly say that you know what to expect from your partner/spouse? I hope your answer is “no”, as it is impossible to know what is going on in other person’s head. You might have theories, expectations, ideas, but that is just a guess.

Trust your partner/spouse, but don’t be blind or deaf.

There is nothing wrong about asking your partner/spouse to put in writing any agreements you have reached between each other, specifically when these agreements relate to transferring ownership of real property.

The property rights of spouses prescribed by statute may be altered by a premarital agreement or other marital property agreement. See Family Code Section 1550.

Any married persons may by agreement or transfer, with or without consideration, do any of the following:

  1. Transmute community property to separate property of either spouse;
  2. Transmute separate property of either spouse to community property;
  3. Transmute separate property of one spouse to separate property of the other spouse. See Family Code Section 850.

Community Property:

  1. All property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in California. See Family Code Section 760.

Separate Property:

  1. All property owned by the person before marriage;
  2. All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
  3. The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in this section. See Family Code Section 770(a).

General purpose of a marital agreement or transmutation is to change the application of California community law.

In the absence of a marital agreement or transmutation, spouses’ property is characterized pursuant Family Code Sections 760 and 770, see above.


Family Code Section 852 sets rules for enforceability of a transmutation:

  1. Transmutation agreement has to be in writing;
  2. Signed by an adversely effected spouse;
  3. Transmutation has to contain an express declaration stating that the characterization of specific property has been changed.

Marital Settlement Agreement:

General principals of contract law apply to Marital Agreements.

Marital Agreements have to be in writing and signed by both parties. Also, it is highly advisable to get parties’ signatures notarized and that each spouse has his/her own independent counsel.

Marital Agreements & Public Policy restraints.

  1. Marital Agreement is unenforceable if promotes dissolution of marriage;
  2. You cannot waive or limit child support;
  3. You cannot waive or limit spousal support;
  4. You cannot limit court’s jurisdiction over child custody and child support;
  5. You cannot waive spouses’ declaration of disclosure obligations.


DISCLAIMER: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer/law firm publisher for educational purposes ONLY as well as to give you general information, not to provide specific legal advice. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

Please contact me at 619-737-3919 to schedule a 30-minute initial complimentary consultation to discuss your personal situation.

NOTICE: This Blog/Web Site constitutes advertisement materials and is meant for the residents of the State of California only. By using this Blog/Web Site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The materials presented in the Blog/Web Site may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. The Law Office of Maria Rogova is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this Blog/Web Site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this Blog/Web Site under any circumstance

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Ms. Rogova, who is bilingual English-Russian, earned her law degrees from American and Russian universities. She earned her Russian law degree in 2003 and practiced law in Russia for over 7 years. Ms. Rogova has a broad range of legal experience in Russia such as contract litigation, corporate law, arbitration, real estate, and labor law. In addition to her law degree, in 2007 Ms. Rogova earned a Master of Finance degree.

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