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The issue of “transmutation” often arises in family law cases. A transmutation occurs where a particular asset is changed from the separate property of a spouse to community property or vice versa.

In order for there to be a valid transmutation, the party who has been adversely affected by the change must sign a document, such as a deed, in which he/she specifically states that the asset is being changed from separate property to community property or from community property to separate property, In addition, it must be shown to the satisfaction of the judge that the adversely affected person was not pressured or in any way coerced into agreeing to the transmutation.