Miami, FL asked in Banking and Family Law for Tennessee

Q: My spouse and I married later in life.

We sold our homes in our respective states, combined our funds, and purchased a home in Tennessee. The remaining funds were placed in a bank account under my spouse's name. I had full access to that account using a password my spouse gave to me.Recently, my spouse changed the password and refused to grant me access to the bank account when I asked for the new password. Now, I no longer know how much we have to live on and this is a serious concern. My spouse has retired and does not work. With no visibility to the funds in that bank account, I have started working to ensure that there is money that I can access.

Since my spouse continues to refuse me access to the bank account, please let me know what my legal options are to access that portion of the funds in that bank account that are legally mine.

Thank you.


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1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If the account was created after you got married, there is a high probability it will be considered "marital property" under Tennessee law. You need to obtain and retain the closing documents from the sale of your prior to show that you contributed to the account. You wife may try to testify that you were making a "gift" to her of these funds, but that seems unlikely since she permitted you joint access for some time period. The term "marital property" has a legal definition, and it is not determined by the name on the account. However, the bigger question for you to decide is whether you want to remain married to someone who would attempt to take advantage of you ( and your money) in this fashion. I strongly suggest you consult an experienced divorce lawyer soon.

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