Generally, it is possible for one spouse to sell community property without the other spouse’s consent if:

  • The proposed transaction is in the best interest of both spouses, and
  • Consent has been refused without good reason, or
  • Your spouse cannot consent because of a mental or physical impairment.

What Does “Best Interests of Both Spouses” Mean?

The short, less complicated answer is that "it depends." Examples of transactions that are in the best interests of both spouses may include:

  • The spouses have a high interest community debt and possess assets that can be sold or mortgaged at a lower interest rate.
  • The spouses need money to pay for important community needs such as home repairs or a child’s medical expenses.

What Does “Refused without Good Reason’ Mean?

Examples of a spouse refusing to consent without good reason might include:

  • A spouse objecting simply because he or she is angry.
  • A spouse refusing to explain why he or she is objecting.

What Can I Do If My Spouse Is Trying to Force Me to Sell Community Property?

A spouse cannot personally force the other spouse to sell community property or separate property. If he or she does, the other can argue in court that anything the other spouse signed was coerced and thus not valid.

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

It is often hard for couples to be fair and objective during divorce proceedings. Therefore, a California family law lawyer can help you make the right decisions.  In addition, a lawyer will be able to help determine whether a proposed transaction is really in the best interest of the community.