Can your spouse sell or give away community property?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Property Division |

People’s behavior can change drastically during a divorce. Someone who is usually calm and considerate can become aggressive and even choose to break the law because of the intense emotions that arise during their divorce.

One of the ways those emotions can affect your divorce is through financial manipulation. Someone who is angry or bitter about a pending divorce could try to diminish the marital estate by giving away or selling property that belongs to both spouses under California community property laws. Can your spouse sell your car to their cousin for $30 or give away all of your jointly owned furniture?

Inappropriate financial behavior during divorce has consequences

Community property laws in California are very clear about the rights of both spouses to a share of marital assets. When one spouse tries to manipulate that system by giving away property or otherwise diminishing the marital estate, that can affect what the courts do in the divorce.

A California family law judge can consider dissipation of marital assets when they decide how to split up your property. Undervaluing property before selling it, giving it away or damaging it could affect property division. So could wasteful spending or building up massive amounts of unnecessary debt just to punish a spouse during divorce.

The California family courts could hold your spouse accountable for those dissipated or lost amounts and grant you more of the marital estate to compensate you for their misconduct. Familiarizing yourself with state law can help you demand a fair outcome when you divorce in California.