Wyatt v. Wyatt

Decision Date21 September 1987
Docket NumberNo. 1031,1031
Citation361 S.E.2d 777,293 S.C. 495
CourtSouth Carolina Court of Appeals
PartiesFlora M. WYATT, Respondent, v. Grady WYATT, Appellant. . Heard

Page 777

361 S.E.2d 777
293 S.C. 495
Flora M. WYATT, Respondent,
v.
Grady WYATT, Appellant.
No. 1031.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard Sept. 21, 1987.
Decided Oct. 26, 1987.

Page 778

[293 S.C. 496] John L. Creson, of Surrett, Walker, Creson & Colley, P.A., Augusta, Ga., for appellant.

Thomas H. Dale, Columbia, for respondent.

SHAW, Judge.

Respondent-wife, Flora M. Wyatt, originally brought this action for separate maintenance. While this action was pending, appellant-husband, Grady Wyatt, obtained a divorce in a separate action in the State of Georgia. Thereafter, this action became a final determination of the parties' property and support rights. The husband appeals from a family court order finding certain property to be nonmarital and requiring the sale of all marital assets. We reverse and remand.

In an action for divorce, this court has jurisdiction to find facts based on its own view of the preponderance of the evidence. Shafer v. Shafer, 283 S.C. 205, 320 S.E.2d 730 (Ct.App.1984).

These parties were married on November 1, 1969, it being the second marriage for both parties. At the time of the marriage, the wife owned a lot and a mobile home. The lot was owned outright and the wife had paid two and one half years of a five year mortgage on the mobile home. The

Page 779

parties lived in the mobile home from the time they married until 1979 during which time substantial improvements were made on the home and lot. The husband contributed considerably to these improvements and also contributed to the remaining mortgage payments. Several months prior to the hearing of this action, the wife sold the lot on which the mobile home was located for $45,000. As of the hearing, she had not sold the mobile home.

[293 S.C. 497] There is conflicting testimony as to whether the husband owned a residence located in Gaffney, South Carolina, at the time of the marriage, or whether the wife assisted in the purchase of this residence. However, the husband concedes this and another Gaffney residence inherited during the marriage were transmuted into marital property.

The husband argues the family court erred in characterizing the mobile home and lot as nonmarital property belonging to the wife. Premarital property may be transmuted into marital property if it is utilized in support of the marriage, becomes so co-mingled as to be untraceable, or is utilized in such a manner as to evidence an intent to make it marital property. Trimnal v....

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  • Dawkins v. Dawkins
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
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    ... ... 295, 372 S.E.2d 107, 110 (Ct. App. 1988) (citing Trimnal ... v. Trimnal , 287 S.C. 495, 339 S.E.2d 869 (1986); ... Wyatt v. Wyatt , 293 S.C. 495, 361 S.E.2d 777 (Ct ... App. 1987)); Wannamaker v. Wannamaker , 305 S.C. 36, ... 39, 406 S.E.2d 180, 182 (Ct ... ...
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    ...an intent by the parties to make it marital property. Trimnal v. Trimnal, 287 S.C. 495, 339 S.E.2d 869 (1986); Wyatt v. Wyatt, 293 S.C. 495, 361 S.E.2d 777 (Ct.App.1987). As a general rule, transmutation is a matter of intent to be gleaned from the facts of each case. 2 The spouse claiming ......
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