McHugh v. McHugh

Facts: Husband owned the marital residence prior to the marriage. During the three-year marriage, three mortgage payments were made from parties’ joint account before Husband applied the proceeds from the sale of another pre-marital asset to extinguish the mortgage on the marital residence. The trial court awarded the home to Husband.

Wife appealed, arguing the assets had transmuted from separate to marital property. The Court of Appeals agreed but upheld the distribution of the marital estate because of the short duration of the marriage.

Candidly, I am surprised with the finding regarding transmutation of the marital residence. The opinion is sparse on the details one normally sees to support a finding of transmutation so I must assume there is more in the record to support it. Perhaps the opinion does not devote the normal level of attention to the issue because the appellate court decided it would make no difference to the distribution of the marital estate. Regardless, a prenuptial agreement could have avoided this issue altogether.

McHugh v. McHugh (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2010).

Information provided by K.O. Herston, Tennessee Divorce Lawyer.

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K.O. Herston is a family-law attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and other aspects of family law.

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