Q: I want a divorce. I don’t want my spouse draining our savings if I don’t file before telling him. Can he do that?
I’m afraid if I tell him before I file he will spend our savings account. I know filing freezes assets. But I also need to tell him soon, perhaps before I’m able to file. I just need to know if he starts spending from our savings account recklessly if he will be required to still pay half the amount we’ve accrued during our marriage.
A: Technically, any charges/debts incurred PRIOR to service of the Petition for Dissolution ARE community debts. Technically, he is permitted to spend community funds any time he wants to PRIOR to being served. But, when you add the word "recklessly", I would say that we could pursue our half of any community assets that he attempts to hide or waste after receiving notice of your intention to file but before being served.
There are some steps you could/should take in pre-notice planning, from simply preserving records as to current assets and debts so they do not disappear, to taking a photo-inventory of all household/garage belongings, to moving 1/2 of liquid accounts into your name so at least your half cannot be hidden or wasted.
Please come in soon. We can certainly help you consider and then pursue your options. This is obviously a very important matter, and you should not go in alone.
One of our attorneys can explain the issues and procedures better in person. As you can imagine, there is too much to cover via email. We offer free ½ hour consultations, in which we can discuss your matter in detail.
Please call or email my assistant Maddy to schedule your free ½ hour consultation.
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