Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. Can you please tell me if you are separated from your husband? Either legally or physically? Also, were you the only person authorized to make transactions on this account?
Thank you for the follow-up information. This is a difficult question due to the fact the you are still married. Generally, when two persons are married, income generated while the persons are married is considered marital property.
For informational purposes: Missouri Statutes Section 452.330(2) states:
"2. For purposes of sections 452.300 to 452.415 only, "marital property" means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage except:
(1) Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
(2) Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
(3) Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation;
(4) Property excluded by valid written agreement of the parties; and
(5) The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage or pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (4) of this subsection, unless marital assets including labor, have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of such contributions."
For full text of statute, see http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C400-499/4520000330.HTM
However, for informational purposes: Missouri Statutes Section 451.250 states:
"1. All real estate and any personal property, including rights in action, belonging to any man or woman at his or her marriage, or which may have come to him or her during coverture, by gift, bequest or inheritance, or by purchase with his or her separate money or means, or be due as the wages of his or her separate labor, or has grown out of any violation of his or her personal rights, shall, together with all income, increase and profits thereof, be and remain his or her separate property and under his or her sole control, and shall not be liable to be taken by any process of law for the debts of his wife or her husband.
2. This section shall not affect the title of any husband or wife to any personal property reduced to his or her possession with the express assent of his or her spouse; provided, that said personal property shall not be deemed to have been reduced to possession by the husband or wife by his or her use, occupancy, care or protection thereof, but the same shall remain his or her separate property, unless by the terms of said assent, in writing, full authority shall have been given by the husband or wife to the spouse to sell, encumber or otherwise dispose of the same for his or her own use and benefit, but such property shall be subject to execution for the payments of the debts of the spouse contracted before or during marriage, and for any debt or liability of his or her spouse created for necessaries for the spouse or family; and any such married man or woman may, in his or her own name and without joining his or her spouse, as a party plaintiff institute and maintain any action, in any of the courts of this state having jurisdiction, for the recovery of any such personal property, including rights in action, as aforesaid, with the same force and effect as if such married man or woman was * not married; provided, any judgment for costs in any such proceeding rendered against any such married spouse, may be satisfied out of any separate property of such married spouse subject to execution; provided, that before any such execution shall be levied upon any separate estate of a married spouse, he or she shall have been made a party to the action, and all questions involved shall have been therein determined, and shall be recited in the judgment and the execution thereon."
As a result, it appears that the above two statutes are somewhat contradictory. Accordingly, based on the facts that you presented, it appears that if there was an understanding between both of you that this was separate property, then on paper, you may be able to press criminal charges.
In reality -- and it is difficult to know the mind set of each police agency -- in my experiences, when there are spouses who are not legally separated and there is a transaction like this, most police departments would probably tell you that this is a domestic dispute.
Why? Because most police departments are interested in crimes that are cut and dried. Meaning easy to prosecute. So, if this person was a stranger, then the police would probably treat this differently. However, this is only an opinion. It would not be futile to call your local police and try to obtain a criminal remedy.
You must also consider the amount of what was taken. If it was substantial, then it is more likely that the police would get involved.
If not already accomplished, it would be wise to change the passwords on the account. Also, if a criminal remedy is not available and you are considering a divorce and/or legal separation, you should probably request the amount in such proceedings.
Accordingly, if you are intending to seek a divorce and/or legal separation, you should consider consulting a local attorney.
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