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Commingling of assets

There are two types of commingling of assets:

   ~ commingling property from one estate to the other

If the commingled property loses its identity, it becomes part of the receiving property.  For example, if husband sells his home owned before the marriage and uses the funds, along with marital assets, to buy a home with his wife, under both names, it is commingled property and thus marital property.

If the commingled property retains its identity, it does not transmute and remains the property of the contributing estate. 

   ~ commingling property from multiple estates into newly acquired property.

If one estate contributes to another, the contributing estate shall be reimbursed notwithstanding any transmutation.   This must be shown by clear and convincing evidence.  

The personal effort of a party to non-marital property can be deemed contribution from the non-marital estate if the effors are significant and result in appreciation to the property.  For example, additions made by the spouse to the non-marital residence increasing the value of the non-marital home substantially.  

If there is commingling, a Court can order reimbursement or a lien against the non-marital property.

The factors the Court looks to for distributing property are:  when the contribution to the property was made (before or after the filing of the Petition for Dissolution); dissipation marital property; and court's discretion in setting the valuation date of the property.

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