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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111655
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My wife left with my 3 year old son on July 24, I believe

Customer Question

My wife left with my 3 year old son on July 24, I believe she had been planning this for some time. She withdrew $5,000 from our bank account, left me when all the bills were due, after she said she had paid them. I switched bank accounts for fear of her taking the rest out and the overdraws began. She had been distant, but acted the best she could to act as if nothing was wrong. I sent her emails before she left wanting to get our relationship back to where it was. I put her through school and supported her throughout our son's first years and when I asked her to work so that we could get out of debt, that was when I believe she became upset. She contributed just two paychecks and kept her last one before she left. She know how to push my buttons so I have suspicions she has recorded some of our disagreements. I saw also that she has been looking into my google account, adding her sister and two other people in my circle whom I don't even know. I hired an attorney, but he seems to be gathering information to favor her. We had gone to the bank to take her name off the account, but when she signed us in, it was so I could sign a waiver, without me getting a copy and consulting with an attorney. I was holding my son when she did this, and was caught by surprise. I believe she was just trying to get a reaction out of me. I didn't sign, but how long do I have before this goes to court. She said it would be a standard divorce with standard visitation, but I don't know if I could trust her. The petition for divorce is very vague.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, but he doesn't seem to be in my favor
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: At first he said all property is to be equally shared, that we would be co-conservatos to our child and in the meantime he would spend time equally with each of us until the court determined other wise. I told him some other information like my wife was not on the deed to the house because she did not qualify for the loan and it was only put in my name, but he said it didn't matter. He wants my 401 K information, 3 years income bank account and routing numbers, etc. He was referred by a sherriff neighbor who I suspect may have talked to my wife and he is playing her side
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: It is a complicated marriage, because we are first cousins and I fell in love with her during a delicate time in my life and her life. We both had come off bad relationships, and she had actually been going to counseling and was on various psychiatric drugs. She got off of her anti-depressants when we got together, and she believes in Wicca, but never really practiced it until recently, when I would find ashes in her cauldron and bags of mixed minerals, sea salts, and herbs. I just fear for my son if she begins hanging out with witches.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets acquired at the time of the marriage, regardless of whose name is ***** ***** are divided 50-50. As far as the house, unless she signed a waiver of spousal interest she would be entitled to a 50% share of the equity in the house as well. As far as your retirement accounts, those would be divided equally as well based on the time you contributed to them during the course of your marriage, which is why he wants that information.
From what you are saying, it is a fairly standard divorce other than custody which would depend on what she decides she wants to fight over. Typically, the courts try to share custody equally unless they find the parents cannot work together for the best interests of the child and then the court has to decide on joint custody which means one parent is primary physical custodian and both parents jointly make major decisions for the child and the non custodial parent gets weekend visitations and one night during the week (typically).
Wile you say you feel he is on her side, frequently clients feel this, but the Texas laws are quite specific that any assets that come into existence, including pensions, must be divided. The money she took from the bank account upon leaving would be considered as part of her share of division of the marital assets as well.
The petition for divorce is supposed to be vague by law. Everything in a divorce is done either by settlement negotiations or mediation between the spouses and if they cannot agree on any issue then the court decides. So while it seems your attorney is not on your side, there are things he has to do by law that make it seem that way to many people not familiar with the divorce process.