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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My wife had stolen funds from our joint checking and savings

Customer Question

My wife had stolen funds from our joint checking and savings account over a 1-1/2 year period and funneled into her business. During this time she also allowed people from her company to access our personal account, use our personal debit card and write checks forging signatures - again the funds were used for her business. I have 1-1/2 years of records showing the cancelled checks with forged signatures in my digital records. This past June our bank closed the account since it was overdrawn for extended period; she kept saying she would replace the funds to bring the account to a positive but she never did.
Over the past year she had borrowed my personal and business credit cards for emergency and when she did not return it to me I learned she gave it to someone in her business who attempted to make purchases. My business credit card company's fraud division alerted me immediately and told me 2 transactions were attempted at 4am and 6am yesterday morning. The card was cut off so purchases could not be made. The fraud division has now terminated my business credit card and issued new cards. The personal card I gave her it turns out has been repeatedly used to pay for her mini-storage monthly fees and van rental costs.
During this time she has had many financial problems with her catering business and I have provide her money to pay healthcare for her employees, replace a hood system in her commercial kitchen, pay for food for catering, and I have even written checks directly to her employees when she could not make payroll. This has amounted thousands of dollars.
Over the past 2 years I have had numerous conversations with my wife and she continuously denied the above. Each time I found out she used our personal funds for her business and let members of her business write checks from our personal account - I discussed with her and demanded she stop. Over and over she would say it won't happen again or they are not writing checks, however, it has continued to happen. She has now taken the personal credit card that we share, which I paid off, and has exceeded the limit again. I'm tired of the lies and deceitful actions.
In September the sherrif showed up at my office with a letter from an attorney representing the bank she used to do business with. It was a collection notice for a debt she owed to the bank which she stopped paying off. The sherrif had a bright colored sticker and was going to pad lock my office and threatened to retain all property if the debt was not paid within the next 2 days. I forgot to mention my wife couldn't afford the rent at her store front and I let her take a front office in my place of business.
It's my credit at stake. It's my family at stake. It's my children's future at stake. She shows little concern and is completely not interested in discussing finances, budgets and money for our family and children.
Another note: my wife has severe Crohn's disease and is on up to 10 medications including at times narcotic level drugs and steroids. She is extremely aggressive at times and very high strung. Friends have commented that is is "wound tight"
I would like to file for divorce but am afraid the process will affect our 2 children (7 yrs and 5-1/2 yrs). Can you please give me advice on what grounds I can file divorce and your opinion on strategy so I can push get custody of our kids?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, in what state do you reside?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ohio
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience.

Ohio has very specific grounds for divorce. There are of course 'no-fault' grounds of 'incompatibility' and living apart for a year. That type of a divorce is typically faster, less acrimonious, and cheaper. It also tends to affect the children less but it requires that you both agree on all parts of the divorce and you essentially let go her bad acts.

But Ohio also permits 'fault' based grounds under ORC - 3105.01 which I have provided below for review. Most likely you are considering "Fraud" and "Neglect" and those seem to fit. The fact that she granted access to your financial records to strangers and is effectively embezzling funds into her business, as well as committing forgery makes those grounds legitimate. Likewise you may even want to consider pressing criminal charges as she is stealing from you, and possibly from your employer.

Now, as far as the children, you would need to attack her 'fitness'. Fitness factors may include a history of abuse or neglect, domestic violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, history of mental illness, criminality, or moral turpitude. For that I would strongly urge you to consider retaining counsel, both for your peace of mind, and the peace of mind of the children.

3105.01 Divorce causes.

The court of common pleas may grant divorces for the following causes:

(A) Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;

(B) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;

(C) Adultery;

(D) Extreme cruelty;

(E) Fraudulent contract;

(F) Any gross neglect of duty;

(G) Habitual drunkenness;

(H) Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;

(I) Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party;

(J) On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation;

(K) Incompatibility, unless denied by either party.

A plea of res judicata or of recrimination with respect to any provision of this section does not bar either party from obtaining a divorce on this ground.

Effective Date: 10-06-1994

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

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