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Can I be sued for selling furnitures to pay bills after we were separated and paying alimony, I was unable to pay bills.

Vallejo, CA |

I live in California and I'm going thru a tough time in my marriage due to infidelity, she cheated with a old boyfriend, and its been really difficult for me to let go. We were married for 17 years with one son who is going to be 18 in June, I have already been ordered up pay alimony of $1000.00 a month, I don't have no degree but makes more money, she has a degree but only working p/t, she smokes weed and would not apply for job that requires drug testing. My question is how can I stop the alimony payment.
My second q is, we have a house together and is only on my name, she said she's moving soon and how can I keep the house to myself, since I'm the only one on the that have access to the loan company.
She said she would file for domestic abuse because I destroyed her cloths while gon

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Attorney answers 5


Wow - I thought I was going to answer the question in your headline and instead you asked several questions pertaining to family law in the body. Not a good strategy. You need to provide more info about your header question - if you owed money on the furniture you sold that was financed, of course you can be sued. Since many contracts that finance the purchase of furniture state that you do not actually own the furniture until you complete paying for it, selling furniture that you don't actually own could be prosecuted as a crime.

There is no limit to the number of questions you are allowed to post, so I would suggest asking each question separately with more relevant details and less unimportant info, such as accusations of drug use. No one cares! Hope this perspective helps!


You need to have an attorney represent you in the family law case.


Unfortunately, family law and bankruptcy sometime go hand in hand. You've got several issues in your fact situation which will require some good legal counseling and possibly planning. You should go consult an attorney in your area.

This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


Short answer to your specific tagline question: No, you cannot be sued for selling furniture to pay bills after date of separation. My assumptions are that one of you filed for divorce, but that the divorce is not finalized. In a family-law context, a person in your person would not be "sued," but could be sanctioned--monetarily punished, for violating the Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders ("ATROs") The ATROS are on the second page of the Summons. Strongly recommend you read them if you haven't already done so. In essence, both parties have a legal duty, during the entire divorce process, to preserve and protect the community estate, not conceal or dispose of it. For instance, a person selling furniture after date of separation is in violation of the ATROs. There are usually two ways around the ATROs--the parties mutually consent to the conduct and/or a court of law approves the conduct.

Strongly recommend you speak to an attorney--as you appear to need a basic underling understanding of the ATROs and how they relate to your financial situation.

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I am sorry to hear that you are going through this difficult time. You are not alone, the divorce process is extremely painful for most of our clients.

Unfortunately, I cannot give you fully informed advice concerning the several issues you raised in your message in this forum. As you might expect, family law is an area where even seemingly small facts can make a large difference in the outcome - and the issues you raise fall into that category. Generally speaking, refusing to take steps to become self-supporting (such as choosing drug use over job search efforts) would be a consideration in a request to modify the spousal support or 'seek-work' orders.

Also, generally speaking, you should not sell or destroy any community property (including furnishings) until you have a written agreement or court order for their division. The degree to which this becomes an issue for you really relates to the specific facts and existing orders in your case, as well as your spouse's desire to make trouble for you. One of the prior responses mentioned the Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders ("ATROS") that attach once you have been served (or have served your spouse) with a summons. I second the suggestion that you review those.

Regarding the house, again, there is no one easy answer to your question.

I would strongly suggest that you make an appointment to meet with a family law attorney to discuss your rights and options in relation to settling your case with these goals and concerns in mind.

Best of luck to you and your family.

Please be advised that this answer in no way constitutes legal advice, and is only intended to guide you in determining an appropriate direction for individualized legal consultation and/or representation. This answer should not be relied on, as each legal matter, and the appropriate course of action, is entirely dependent on the specific facts of your particular case. You are encouraged to seek the advice and guidance of a respected and experienced attorney practicing in your community to assist you. Please be advised that this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and these communications are neither privileged nor confidential.