I just found out my wife has used our joint checking account to hire a divorce lawyer.
Can I redirect my paycheck into my separate bank account so that my wife cannot use my money for her purchases?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
There is nothing in the law in my jurisdiction that prevents you from redirecting your paycheck into an individual bank account.
Certainly the funds in any joint bank account are subject to equitable distribution as part of your divorce action. For purposes of dividing these funds between you and your wife, you look to the value of your bank account that existed at the date of separation.
Please note that if she is using money from a joint bank account to pay a divorce attorney, it can be inferred that you are officially separated.
Once you have determined the value of the bank account as of the date of separation, then it must be determined what is the most equitable way to divide these funds.
If your wife took money from your joint bank account to pay her attorney, then there is a chance this could be viewed as an advance on her share of equitable distribution of this money as it clearly was not done with your consent and therefore cannot be considered a joint marital decision.
It also could simply be viewed as money she was entitled to use for her attorney’s fees depending on the disparity between your economic positions and a host of other factors.
In short, every case is fact sensitive and while it is perfectly legal to redirect your paycheck into an individual bank account, it is important to speak with an attorney about how to address your finances going forward once you have separated.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.