Divorce Lawyer: Unilaterally Selling Community Land in Louisiana

Mar 2


Will Beaumont

Will Beaumont

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Selling a community immovable typically requires the consent of the other spouse. This article explains this concept further.


When two people are married in Louisiana,Divorce Lawyer: Unilaterally Selling Community Land in Louisiana Articles they (for the most part) automatically form what is called a "community property regime." This very generally means that property which the two spouses earn while they are married to each other is considered "community property." There are many exceptions to this general rule, and one should consult with a divorce lawyer if they are faced with a real-life issue vis a vis community property disputes.

That said, to a divorce lawyer, community property is generally shared equally between the spouses. Because both parties to the marriage have equal rights in the property, sometimes decisions about those properties require the authorization of both the husband and wife. That is to say, one spouse cannot always make a unilateral decision about a piece of community property without consulting the other spouse.

Let's say Craig and Lisa have been married for twenty years. Five years into their marriage, they bought a double shotgun house on Daniel Street in New Orleans. The house was purchased with funds that Craig and Lisa earned and continued to earn throughout their marriage. The couple lived in the house on Daniel Street for ten years. After ten years (and in year fifteen of their marriage) Craig and Lisa miraculously both received promotions at their respective jobs. With the new influx of money, they decided to purchase another, larger home. After house shopping for a few months, they finally settled on a mansion on St. Charles Avenue.

Both Craig and Lisa felt a certain attachment to the house on Daniel Street, so rather than selling it, they decided to keep it for the time being.

About a year later, Craig stops by the Daniel Street house to maintain the grounds there. He is surprised to find Lisa inside. She is accompanied by a young couple. When Craig inquires as to what exactly the three are doing, Lisa explains that she is showing them the house because they are interesting in buying it. This causes a colossal fight between Craig and Lisa. Craig is furious because he does not want other people living in the house that he shared with Lisa on Daniel Street. Furthermore, he is absolutely flabbergasted that Lisa would try and sell the house behind his back, and without his consent.

Craig and Lisa do not speak to one another for about a week. Then one day a family friend visits them. The family friend is actually a divorce lawyer. Craig and Lisa explain the whole situation to the lawyer. One relevant Louisiana law that the attorney friend will probably bring up is Louisiana Civil Code article 2347. This code article reads in pertinent part that "the concurrence of both spouses is required for the alienation, encumbrance, or lease of community immovable..." If we apply this article to the above example, we see that Lisa probably cannot sell the old family home that she shared with Craig without getting the consent of Craig. The house is likely a piece of community property, because it was purchased with funds that the two spouses earned while married. Thus, Craig has an equal property interest in the house, and equal say in whether or not it is leased.

Will Beaumont is a divorce lawyer in New Orleans. This article is purely informational and not legal advice. If you have a question, contact an attorney for more information.