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My wife is divorcing. She is leaving in February. Can she take property without a divorce decree?

Sacramento, CA |

She wants a bed set, furniture, dressers, kitchen ware, a television.... I want the divorce decree on paper and the quit claim on the house she hasn't help pay for over the last year. Can I force this before she takes things out of the house other than her clothes and sundries?

Attorney Answers 3


You are right in wanting a divorce decree to deliberate the property distribution. Wanting to quit claim the house different story. Funds over the past year were community funds... The FL110 has a standard restraining order. Before you "force" this why not establish the values , work it out and let her take it...the less fights you have, the smoother and cheaper the divorce will be.

This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.

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The house is under water, has a bankrupted second that has put a lean on the house, and we used Keep our Home CA and we can't sell for three years if there was a profit. She just wants out.


Technically, she can't take any CP property, either real or personal, without your agreement. If she does then she has violated the ATRO's served on her with the petition and summons.

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I agree with attorney Benton that there are Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs) under Family Code 2040 that prohibit many things, including transferring and/or hiding property, other than in the ordinary course of business. Whether her taking some furniture along with her clothing is within the ordinary course of business is a question of fact for the Judge to decide later on -- if someone raises it.

Family Code 1100 seems to say in part (a) that either spouse has management and control of things like the furniture, and part (c) seems to say that she cannot sell the furniture without your consent. By not stating "take" it implies that maybe she can take the furniture, but if she takes it she cannot sell it.

If she is taking about half the stuff I suggest that you take digital pictures of all the furniture she is taking so you can have a record and ask the Family Court to give you credit. If she wants to empty the house so you can't even live there you might want to file in Family Court to get the help of the Court. You should consider consulting with a good Family Law attorney in your area.

A link to Family Code 1100 is below:

As stated above -- I have NOT actually stated any legal opinion, because I need to know more before I can start to form one.

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