Effect of Commingling on Characterization

In general, the “commingling”—mixing—of separate and community property into one whole does not destroy the character of its respective components if their amounts can be ascertained.

However, when property is so commingled that the separate and community components cannot be traced and identified, the general presumption in favor of community property, Fam. Code § 760

requires that all of the commingled property be characterized as community.

If a community presumption thus arises, the burden is on the spouse asserting that the property is separate to overcome the community presumption by tracing the funds to a separate source, assuming that tracing is permissible in a particular case.

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