After divorce papers have been served by my wife’s attorney, can I sell stocks to make our house payments?
I do not practice in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of that state and can only provide you with general tips on divorce.
In the jurisdiction where I practice, it is commonplace to file what is called a joint preliminary injunction promptly after filing a complaint for divorce.
This injunction, in part, states that both parties are prohibited from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common or community property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. This usually cannot be done without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.
Therefore, to err on the side of caution, I would advise you to discuss this with your wife or her attorney prior to selling the stock. Although, if you are using joint property to pay for a joint debt (such as a mortgage), this should be considered a necessity.
However, I still recommend contacting a local lawyer before taking any action.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.