San Diego Law Review


Kim M. Seavey

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In 1984, California had the simplest laws regarding interspousal transmutations of real and personal property of all community property states. Claiming that one's spouse had always referred to his or her separate property as "ours" could be enough for a court to find that a transmutation from separate to community property had occurred. In 1985, California enacted section 5110.730 of the Civil Code to help rid courts of litigation spawned by easy transmutation laws. By 1990, California's transmutation statute was considered the toughest of all community property states that allow interspousal transmutations. This Comment examines pre-1985 transmutation case law and the legislative history of section 5110.730 of the California Civil Code. It then focuses on the bright-line test announced by the California Supreme Court in Estate of MacDonald v. MacDonald and questions the wisdom of creating a special statute of frauds law for interspousal agreements.