Legal Question in Family Law in California

My wife and I have a disagreement over selling the second home in foreign country.

We moved to Taiwan in 2004. We bought a home in Taiwan in 2006 as our primary residence. However, we changed our mind and moved back to the USA in 2011.

We currently live in our primary home in Riverside, CA. I would like to sell the home in Taiwan since 2011. My wife has no objection to selling this home as well. However, she kept raising the selling price every year. It was always 20% above the market price. This year Taiwan's housing market experienced a downturn. She was still raising the sale price. Therefore, we couldn't sell the home for 11 years. I tried to talk to her to reduce the price or stop raising the price to sell the home but she couldn't listen to my advice. I am 65 year old now. I don't want to wait for another 10-20 years to sell the home.

We fought many times for this matter but no solution. Every time we talked about this ended up with talked about divorce and we yelled and screamed at each other. Can you please help me? I have the following questions.

(1) Is that a way to force her to sell this home in Taiwan in current market price without going through the divorce process?

(2) Is that a way to force her to sell this home in Taiwan in current market price by going through the divorce process but I still want to live in my owned Riverside home with my 14 year old daughter together.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Asked on 8/30/22, 11:32 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Here in the US if more than one person owns property together any one of them can file a lawsuit for "partition." In the old days the court would then literally divide the property into equal parts. With modern zoning, subdivision laws, and land use regulations, that is no longer possible. So the court will order the property sold at sheriff's auction, same as a foreclosure sale, and the proceeds are divided. However, the California courts have no jurisdiction to do that over property outside California. You may want to contact a lawyer in Taiwan and see if there is a similar procedure available.

If not, you are right that the only other way to force a sale is in divorce. Since California courts have jurisdiction over you and your wife, they can order her to sell as part of a divorce judgment. If you divorce, however, there is no guarantee as to who would get your US residence, nor what the custody and visitation orders would turn out to be.

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Answered on 8/31/22, 10:18 am


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