When you file for marriage nullity, marriage dissolution, or legal separation in California, automatically, four mutual temporary restraining orders are put in place. Such orders disallow one spouse from making transfers, selling, or profiting from a real property on their own. However, if one spouse loses his life, the real property the divorcing spouses share will automatically go to the living spouse, however complicated or messy their divorce is going.
A divorcing couple’s goal is to not let the other spouse have the property they co-own; they can accomplish this by severing the joint tenancy. Severing the joint tenancy does not entail transferring the title or deed to the real property, so it does not qualify as a violation of the restraining order.
After the marriage has been dissolved, real properties that are classified as co-owned in joint tenancy will no longer be considered so, and will belong to only one co-spouse.
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