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Commingling

"Commingling" is a legal concept that property which has been inherited can become marital property if the holder of the property allows the property to be placed in their spouses name, or possession or use. In many divorce cases, there are situations where people receive homes or land from their parents and then lose that property to the marital estate through "commingling." In the recent case of Atkinson v. Atkinson, N0. 2007-CA-01965-COA (Ct of App. 2009) the Court upheld a ruling by the Chancellor awarding all inherited land to the wife, even though the wife had put her husband’s name on the property. This award equitably took into consideration the fact that the land was clearly inherited by the wife and the husband had contributed nothing to it. Furthermore, the Chancellor found that the husband had "brow beaten" the wife into placing his name on it. This is an encouraging decision showing that our Courts truly attempt to do the right thing in Chancery cases, although it makes decisions that much more difficult to predict.