Ask A Lawyer: Can She Take All Our Money?

Question:

Hi, I live in Florida and have been married for 5 years now.  I am preparing for a divorce, but haven’t filed yet.  About two months ago my wife served me with the paperwork, but she halted the case at my request so we could try to work it out.

Unfortunately, things are not  working for us.

She is not employed and never was.  The same day she filed for the divorce two months ago, she also withdrew all the money in our checking account and closed it.  Further, she advanced $2000 from our credit card for cash!

Question 1:  Can she take all the money we have just because her name is on both accounts?

Question 2:  I know in Florida she is entitled to half of whatever I have, including the overseas money transfers I did.  I have been transfering money to my family overseas for years, including during the marriage.  Is she entitled to all the money I have transfered, or is there a time limit such as 6 months or so?

Thanks!

 

Answer:

This requires consultation with an attorney licensed in Florida.  Many times courts will question large withdrawals, purchases, or extensions of credit right before the filing of a divorce petition.  You do not state whether she simply "halted" the proceedings or actually dismissed them.   Generally, the money you transferred is not recoverable under the divorce, as it can be presumed this was one with her consent; however, she may have an action for dissipation of marital funds if she opposed this or if it was done without her knowledge.

 

Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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