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  1. #1

    Default Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: WA
    {Together 18 years, married 10}

    At what point does the requirement to maintain bills/not sell assets start?

    The divorce has been filed, and a temporary restraining order served, but due to the TRO, he won't be able to be served with the divorce papers until the TRO court date.
    He claims to have been talking to an attorney (who he alleges told him that he would automatically get the house, as he backhandedly left her name off of the deed, BUT has her on the mortgage. (we just found this out)

    She is worried about him attempting to sell her vehicle (which is apparently in his name only)
    Between now and the point he is served.
    (he has a key. She's concerned he will just take it while she's asleep, and although she has the title, he has "friends in high places" where he can get a new title)
    I advised her to park the vehicle on private property (unowned by either) where it is behind a locked fence or inside the garage, until service.
    That said... Am I correct in assuming that legally, he does not have to abide by this requirement until he is served with it?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    Quote Quoting SandlingAllDay
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    My question involves a marriage in the state of: WA
    {Together 18 years, married 10}

    At what point does the requirement to maintain bills/not sell assets start?

    The divorce has been filed, and a temporary restraining order served, but due to the TRO, he won't be able to be served with the divorce papers until the TRO court date.
    He claims to have been talking to an attorney (who he alleges told him that he would automatically get the house, as he backhandedly left her name off of the deed, BUT has her on the mortgage. (we just found this out)

    She is worried about him attempting to sell her vehicle (which is apparently in his name only)
    Between now and the point he is served.
    (he has a key. She's concerned he will just take it while she's asleep, and although she has the title, he has "friends in high places" where he can get a new title)
    I advised her to park the vehicle on private property (unowned by either) where it is behind a locked fence or inside the garage, until service.
    That said... Am I correct in assuming that legally, he does not have to abide by this requirement until he is served with it?

    Thanks in advance!
    Hiding the car so he cannot get at it is a good idea on a temporary basis, but she won't be able to hide it while she is at work. The locks can be changed on the car and that might be the route to go. Changing locks on the house and garage are probably a good idea as well, for her own interim safety. If he gets to keep the house in the divorce, then she can give him new keys.

    As far as the house is concerned, if it was purchased during the marriage then its marital property. If not, then whatever value and equity accrued during the marriage is marital property.

    Since she is on the mortgage she needs to insist that either the house be sold and the proceeds split between them or that he must refinance to buy out her share of the equity and get her off the mortgage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,466

    Default Re: Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    Quote Quoting SandlingAllDay
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    The divorce has been filed, and a temporary restraining order served, but due to the TRO, he won't be able to be served with the divorce papers until the TRO court date.
    A process server can serve him anytime. They are not a party to the TRO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    Quote Quoting SandlingAllDay
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    Am I correct in assuming that legally, he does not have to abide by this requirement until he is served with it?
    First thing you (she) has to understand is the difference between community property and ownership. He owns the house in his name. He owns the car in his name. She has no "ownership" interest in either and he is free to sell either or both.

    What she has is a community property interest in the equity in those items that have accrued during the marriage. That's just money and he would owe her half the equity in those items.

    And, no, he does not have to abide by the TRO until he is served. Whether he as to abide by it at all after being served depends on the terms of the TRO. Does the TRO mention the house and the car specifically? Or is there some other wording that would not prevent him from selling what he owns?

    I hope "she" has a lawyer who is putting this together properly.

    I also don't see why "she" can't have him served before the hearing.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    First thing you (she) has to understand is the difference between community property and ownership. He owns the house in his name. He owns the car in his name. She has no "ownership" interest in either and he is free to sell either or both.
    I'm surprised that you got that wrong, Jack, considering that you live in a community property state. Community property is a system in which both spouses own an interest in the community property. Unlike other states (equitable division states) in which marital interests are only taken into account when dividing up assets in a divorce, in a community property state the spouses have an actual property interest in the property during the marriage. Just because those things are titled solely in his name does not mean that they are his separate property. They may well be (and likely are) community property. And if they are community property, he does need her consent to sell them so if the buyer is at all knowledgeable about community property laws in that state they won't touch it without her consent.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    And, no, he does not have to abide by the TRO until he is served. Whether he as to abide by it at all after being served depends on the terms of the TRO. Does the TRO mention the house and the car specifically? Or is there some other wording that would not prevent him from selling what he owns?
    The post suggests the TRO is already in place, and thus he must follow the TRO. I think what you meant to say is that whether the TRO affects what he can do with the assets depends on what the TRO says about that. Very likely it does not address it.

    What hasn't been served yet is the divorce complaint. And I agree with you and Budwad that the TRO would not stand in the way of getting him served with the complaint.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Divorce (Freezing Assets)

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    First thing you (she) has to understand is the difference between community property and ownership. He owns the house in his name. He owns the car in his name. She has no "ownership" interest in either and he is free to sell either or both.

    What she has is a community property interest in the equity in those items that have accrued during the marriage. That's just money and he would owe her half the equity in those items.

    And, no, he does not have to abide by the TRO until he is served. Whether he as to abide by it at all after being served depends on the terms of the TRO. Does the TRO mention the house and the car specifically? Or is there some other wording that would not prevent him from selling what he owns?

    I hope "she" has a lawyer who is putting this together properly.

    I also don't see why "she" can't have him served before the hearing.
    So as you saying that these items, the house and car, that were ALL purchased during the marriage are not hers, equally, because she is not on the title?

    (and no, I am NOT the "she" thanks. It is my sister. But since last time I was reamed for "coming close to practicing without being a lawyer" for saying I'm assisting my sister with her divorce, I chose to avoid that headache here. My marriage is peachy, thanks)

    And because he used her lack of knowledge to put the house in his name only, somehow means she has less of an interest in the property?

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    I'm surprised that you got that wrong, Jack, considering that you live in a community property state. Community property is a system in which both spouses own an interest in the community property. Unlike other states (equitable division states) in which marital interests are only taken into account when dividing up assets in a divorce, in a community property state the spouses have an actual property interest in the property during the marriage. Just because those things are titled solely in his name does not mean that they are his separate property. They may well be (and likely are) community property. And if they are community property, he does need her consent to sell them so if the buyer is at all knowledgeable about community property laws in that state they won't touch it without her consent.



    The post suggests the TRO is already in place, and thus he must follow the TRO. I think what you meant to say is that whether the TRO affects what he can do with the assets depends on what the TRO says about that. Very likely it does not address it.

    What hasn't been served yet is the divorce complaint. And I agree with you and Budwad that the TRO would not stand in the way of getting him served with the complaint.
    Thanks for the help!

    Unfortunately we have no way to serve him, because we have no way to find him. The TRO forces him out of the house, and although he was only around 1-3 days every 2 weeks, we have no clue where he stays (which girlfriend, tbh)
    The process servers would be unable to serve him as well, so paying out what she cannot afford is pointless at this point. We only know that he will fight the TRO, because the Sheriff's seized 15 guns and thousands of rounds from him, as well as his CWP. So he WILL show up to the TRO. (no, he does not work at this point. No friends or family either)

    Is there something special that needs to be done to serve him the divorce papers at the TRO hearing? (I will be there, but if I'm not, is there a way to do it at the hearing, for her safety?)

    Thank you

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Hiding the car so he cannot get at it is a good idea on a temporary basis, but she won't be able to hide it while she is at work. The locks can be changed on the car and that might be the route to go. Changing locks on the house and garage are probably a good idea as well, for her own interim safety. If he gets to keep the house in the divorce, then she can give him new keys.

    As far as the house is concerned, if it was purchased during the marriage then its marital property. If not, then whatever value and equity accrued during the marriage is marital property.

    Since she is on the mortgage she needs to insist that either the house be sold and the proceeds split between them or that he must refinance to buy out her share of the equity and get her off the mortgage.
    She has not held gainful employment for much of the marriage. She took care of the child. She is looking for employment, but he will not know where she works, when she does get a job. The garage /yard would not be her own... It would be nearby, but would still require he break into this person's locked, fenced yard, if it's not in the garage.
    Locks on the house were changed within hours of him being removed by the Sheriff.

    Thanks for explaining. Ideally, she would like to keep the home and buy him out, so as not to uproot the child.. But that remains to be seen. She is opting to allow the courts to split the home, and she is choosing to allow him to keep all his vehicles, she keeps hers. (she has 2 old minivans. He gets the Harley, Dodge Dually, 3 car hauler, 20' trailer etc. More than fair, in my opinion... All owned outright...)


    I appreciate all the help here. My sister is... Not book smart. She is currently like a deer in headlights with all of this, so I am helping her as much as I can. Neither of us can afford the cost of an attorney, so your help is appreciated... We can save time when using the 30 minute legal clinic, if all these questions we have can be answered elsewhere.

    ❤️

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