Q: My ex received welfare and I lived with him at the time. Social Services filed a case against me to be reimbursed.

Over the years I have also received aid from the county. I went to court years ago over this and I don't owe the money. The father never asked for or wanted $ thru the county. I have also gotten married and had a son who is now 18. My husband is now disabled and we are broke and homeless. My mother in Ohio died and left me some money 2 years ago and I just found out but when my sister went to get it for me it was gone. The state of CA took all of it. We were going to get a place to live with that money. Is that legal?

1 Lawyer Answer

Louis George Fazzi

Answered
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You need to file a claim with the California franchise tax board to receive your money back. Gather your evidence together to show that you were not receiving public aid at the time and that any income you had was your own, and that is what you were using to support yourself. If you were married at the time, however, California community property law provides that any debt incurred during the marriage is jointly owned by both husband and wife. So if your husband sought and received welfare or other public assistance during the marriage, you could in actuality be held responsible for reimbursing the state to the extent that your husband did not do that himself. Your claim would therefore be against your ex-husband, and not the state franchise tax board. You probably need the advice of a good family law attorney who is knowledgeable on community property debt and the responsibility of one's spouse to reimburse the other spouse for debts incurred but not repaid.

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