Black Keys’ singer, Dan Auerbach, recently finalized his divorce with Stephanie Gonis in the State of Tennessee. As part of the division of property, the parties divided the typical assets– vehicles, real estate, cash… Ho hum. Gonis was also awarded Bob Dylan’s hair– ho hu… wait, what??!! Did you say Bob Dylan’s hair??!!
Turns out that the parties owned a lock of Bob Dylan’s hair and Auerbach and Gonis’ divorce judgment included a provision which awarded the hair to Gonis. This may seem like a strange item to divide in a divorce; however, in California, parties are supposed to disclose, characterize and divide all property the parties have an interest in– no matter how bizarre.
So what is “property,” you may ask? According to California Civil Code Section 654, “the ownership of a thing is the right of one or more persons to possess and use it to the exclusion of others… the thing of which there may be ownership is called property.” Property that is unmovable is “real” property; property that is movable is “personal” property (Civil Code Section 657). Every kind of property that is not “real” is “personal” (Civil Code Section 663).
With that in mind, strange as it may be, an item like Bob Dylan’s hair, is considered personal property in the State of California. And since all property owned by the parties in a California divorce case must be be adjudicated (i.e. divided), if Bob Dylan’s hair was part of a California divorce case, it would be necessary for the parties to disclose the ownership of the item and have the asset awarded to a particular party in the divorce judgment.
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