Stockton, CA asked in Estate Planning, Divorce and Domestic Violence for California

Q: My husband has hidden our marital assets in a "place where you will never find them", a direct quote from him.

He has told me that I am having an affair, am planning to kill him and steal everything from him. I am innocent of these accusations. I need to leave him but cannot afford a lawyer. Our home is still in both our names. We have been married 20 years. What can I do? I am in California and am very confused and scared...... he is a retired peace officer.

2 Lawyer Answers
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I am sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are ready to file for divorce. Assuming this is the case after your divorce has been filed and is underway, you can begin the process of what is called Discovery. Through Discovery, each party has to disclose all of the information about all of their assets, separate and marital (community). This is the law and if your husband refuses to cooperate, a judge can order him to do this. I am oversimplifying the process, but Discovery is possibly the best way you can get the information from him.

As for the accusations about being unfaithful, etc., they are of no consequence to your divorce case. California is a "no-fault" state and a person's affairs have no bearing on who gets what in the divorce.

You have a long-term marriage and some complicated issues. You really need to consult with an attorney who can guide you in your next steps. Depending on the financial situation, may even be able to get your attorney fees paid for by your spouse.

Last, if you are afraid that your spouse is going to hurt you, you need to contact an attorney immediately, so a restraining order can be filed.

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Get a lawyer right away. Your husband has a big pension and you could keep the house in a settlement plus you are entitled to permanent spousal support. Best of luck.

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