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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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My brother owns a condo with his current wife. Both he and

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My brother owns a condo with his current wife. Both he and his wife are listed on the grant deed as co-owners. In the past 10 years he has had alimony issues with his ex wife in which he has made payments to her of half of his income.

The court ruled that he did owe her more money from extra work he had done, but did not have the funds to pay this. However, there was a support judgment for this amount. He just received a lien on his condo in the last 30 days which is showing as an execution lean. The lean only shows his name, but does not shows his wifes name.

What is the status of this lien, and what can his ex wife do since his wife is co-owner and is not named in the lien. Can she force a sale of the condo in this situation.



Hello and welcome, Bill.

I am sorry to hear of your brother's difficult situation.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am working on your answer now and will post it here shortly. Thank you for your patience while I prepare your answer.

Hello again, Bill.

Pursuant to CA community property laws, both spouses can be held liable for the debts of the other spouse, whether incurred before or during the marriage, at least to the extent they hold community property together. Given that the condo appears to have been acquired during the marriage, it would typically be considered community property and subject to attachment and seizure to satisfy the debts of either spouse.

However, CA law also provides for a homestead exemption which is up to $100k for a married couple or $175k if they are age 65 or older. Here is a link which summarizes the homestead exemptions. If the equity in the condo is not beyond this exemption amount, then there would typically be no benefit to the ex-wife if she were to seek a forced sale of the property, assuming they claim the property as their homestead.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tina my brother is age 67 and his wife is age 61 Can they claim the 175,000 homestead exemption under those conditions? Also, the value of the condo right now is about 230,000. Does this mean if they qualify for the 175,000 exemption would this be protected if his ex wife attempts to force a sale.





Hello again, Bill.

Whether they are protected from a forced sale would typically involve determining the equity in the property. If their exemption covers the equity in the property, then they would typically be protected.

I am not certain about the exempt limits where one spouse is under 65 and I have not located a case on point, but I would expect that they could claim only the 100k exemption since they are not both 65 and older.


You may need to locate a local real estate law attorney to research this issue further to locate a case on point if they have equity beyond the $100k limit.

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