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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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order against spending

Resolved Question:

My husband is bipolar and we are currently separated. He is the only one earning a paycheck as I am a full time student trying to finish out the semester. He is currently in a manic spending spree. He just got paid today and has already spent 2/3 of it in one day. Is there some sort of emergency order I could file immediately to get him to stop spending community property?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 years ago.
Can you explain the circumstances a little further?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has this idea that he wants to go on a round-the-world tour on his bicycle (while keeping a full-time job). He's been seeing a therapist and on medications since last November. We had been living together since then until five weeks ago when he broke our verbal agreement not to spend more than $100 without consulting each other. He spent $300 on camping gear and told me after the fact. I was really upset and asked him to go stay someplace else. He was VERY angry with me. He did leave and promptly went to the bank and took out half of what was in our joint checking account. He also had his paycheck rerouted to his personal account, essentially cutting me off. Last time we spoke he told me he had already spent $5,000 (in five weeks). Today I find out he has already spent 2/3 of his paycheck ($2,000) today alone. It is Friday night and I need to stop him but don't know if I have any recourse. I'm afraid it'll all be gone by Monday. He's also applied for a Platinum Card. Bipolar people go on spending sprees as a way of dealing with their depression/pain. I have been trying to focus on school and I honestly never thought he would go this far with the spending. I do have a little money so it's not completely dire, but half of this paycheck is mine and I see it disappearing fast. I am scared and don't know what to do.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. My apologies, but for some reason, the only portion that came up in your original question was "order against spending", so I couldn't figure out what you needed -it's clear now.

You can file an emergency injunction to prevent the removal of funds, yes. Typically, what happens in this instance is that the court will order that monies in the joint checking account can only be used for "necessaries" (mortgage/rent, utilities, phone, food, etc). Not sure if you have an attorney -if so, they would obviously know what to file. Otherwise, check with the Clerk of the Court and see if they have a form for this. It would be called something like an "Emergency injunction to prevent dissipation or removal of marital funds." In the injunction petition, you would explain that your husband has been spending the money recklessly and on unnecessary items, and that you are concerned this could lead to a depletion of marital assets and the ability to meet your basic needs (or something to that effect).

These types of emergency hearings are usually done "ex-parte" meaning after you file the motion with the court, only you are given the court date, the other party isn't notified. If the judge agrees with you, he or she enters the emergency order and then a copy must be mailed/delivered to your husband.

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