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“COMMINGLING” IS NOT SUCH AN EASY ISSUE

Many lawyers might think that taking separate funds and placing them in a joint account or asset “commingles” the separate asset and makes it “marital.” Some decisions in Mississippi have plainly stated that simple principle. But, recent decisions have made the issue of commingling quite a bit more complicated. In the recent decision of Allgood v. Allgood, No. 2009–CA–00858–COA, Decided February 15, 2011, the Court of Appeals held that a man should get credit for inherited funds placed in a joint marital home, even though he had previously placed the inherited funds in joint account. Despite two separate acts of apparent commingling, the assets were still held to have retained their separate character because they could be clearly traced to the inheritance. This decision probably brings Mississippi into the majority of jurisdictions, but it sure does make legal opinions almost impossible to render on commingling.