Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Divorce Abandoned property

After a divorce is final, how many days shall a letter state that the ex-wife shall pick up her property? (The husband was granted the house in the divorce decree). What code/statute is this law listed under?

Asked on 2/03/02, 8:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Divorce Abandoned property

I'd agree with Mr. Hobbs' estimate of the reasonable time, and add a couple of things. First, the decree and any attached property settlement need to be read carefully with respect to any implied right to keep her things there for a while, and also as to when the wife's right, title and interest in the house actually end. If the circumstances call for a deed, judgment or other instrument terminating the ex-wife's interest, the 30 days should be calculated from the date on which that instrument is executed and recorded.

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Answered on 2/04/02, 4:46 pm

Victor Hobbs Victor E. Hobbs

Re: Divorce Abandoned property

Assuming you're talking about personal property in California the status of the property may fall under the circumstances set forht in numerous code sections. If this goes under landlord tenant law it'll be under Civil Code Sections 1892 - 1895. If the matter goes under other code sections, such as finding the property of a stranger other sections will apply. However, the normal time to notify and recover personal property is around 15 days plus 5 days for mailing. However, family law is an equity court, and I suspect you'll be held as a minimum to the standard of a 'depository for hire.' Which means you have to take extra care not to damage or destroy the personal property. So I'd give the lady 30 days from the date of the letter. And then I'd personally give her 5 more days for mailing as a minimum. This is twice any limit that I know of.

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Answered on 2/03/02, 9:35 pm

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