sell common property

Can My Spouse Sell Our Common Property Without My Consent?


Picture this. You just bought a new car. You’ve been saving up for this for the past year or two and you finally bought it. But then after a few months, you come home to find out that your car’s gone. Apparently, your spouse decided it was a good idea to sell it. What do you do now? Well, if you find yourself in this situation or just want to know if this is allowed to happen, keep reading.

What Do You Own?

Before we get to the specifics of whether or not what you own can be sold without your consent or not, it would be good to work out what you own and what you and your spouse own.

All the things you owned before getting married to your spouse are, of course, still owned by you. Anything purchased that comes with a title and is under your name is your property. Things that are given to you, whether as a gift or inherited, are also still your property. The same applies to your spouse.

Where things get a little more complicated are the things that are community property. Community property is the property that is owned by both you and your spouse. Things that fall under community property would be any property that would be under both your names in a title, whatever it is you and your spouse earn during your marriage, and also whatever is bought with the money you both earn while married.

What Can I Sell Then?

Most states in the United States are community property states. Texas included. In community property states, anything you co-own with our spouse would need both your permission before it is sold. So, anything you both own cannot be sold without the consent of the other. That would already be illegal. As for things that you alone own, they can be sold without your spouse’s consent since it is what only you own. Your spouse has no right to sell whatever it is you own without your permission. If your spouse does, then that would also be illegal.

Having your things getting sold without your knowledge is definitely annoying. If you think there’s a chance this might happen, it would be best to sort out with your spouse what you own and what you co-own. That way it would be easier to sort out what can and can’t be sold without your consent. If anything, at least you get to keep track of what is yours. Hopefully, it never has to come to that point though.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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