Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Good Morning, Donna, and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service, Thank you for your question,
I just need to get the time frame correctly
1. In what year did he withdraw the money from his 401k ?
2. In what year did you separate ?
3. In what year were divorce proceedings started ?
4. I know that there is a penalty for early withdrawal in that you have to pay a tax on it also, but $8,000 seems high. Did he have any paperwork to show that the $8,000 was attributable solely to the $20,000 withdrawal ?
Hi, Donna, Thank you for your additional information,
1. You asked if you must repay your husband the money he gave you to pay a lawyer in 2006
In 2006 when your husband gave you the money (And, I do mean gave), you were neither separated, nor contemplating divorce. In 2006, you were married, you were husband and wife and divorce proceedings did not commence until 7 years later, in 2013. Under Massachusetts law, a married couple is considered one entity, and because a husband and wife are considered a single entity, money of a husband and wife belongs to both spouses. Therefore, you do not owe him anything. His giving you $20,000 is the same thing as his taking $20,000 from his left pocket and putting it in his right pocket. In addition, you had an interest in that part of your husband's 401k that was earned during the marriage. Under the circumstances you described, you do not legally owe him any repayment, no matter how much he demands or insists.
Let me give you a example to show you how ridiculous his demand for repayment is:
Husband and Wife were married in 1993. They had a rocky marriage for 8 years and in 2001, Husband got his Third DUI and had to pay a lawyer $15,000 to avoid going to jail. The wife withdrew $15,000 from her retirement fund to pay the lawyer. In 2009 after 16 years of marriage, Husband and Wife separated. The wife demanded that she be repaid the money she gave her husband 8 years earlier, in 2001.
Is the wife entitled to be repaid ? No. Although the marriage was rocky, Husband and Wife did not separate until 2009 and did not divorce until 2012. They lived together as Husband and Wife after the Wife had given her Husband the money. It cannot be a loan if the money was given while they were married and the Husband had an interest in his Wife's retirement fund because it was earned during the marriage and was "marital Property".
2. You also asked about retirement funds and his Navy Pension,
Under Massachusetts law, "Marital Property" is defined as all property acquired, purchased, or earned during the marriage, regardless of whose name is XXXXX XXXXX and regardless of who paid or eared it, except for gifts, bequests and inheritaces which remain the sole, separate property of the recipient.
This would include any retirement accounts he has and any retirement accounts wich you have that was earned during the marriage. It would also include any part of his Navy Pension that was earned during the marriage. You cannot determine if it is a "wash" until you calculate the value of each in dollars and cents that was earned during the marriage. In divorce proceedings, if the spouses cannot agree with the division of the marital property, a Judge will make the division. Massachusetts is an Equitable Distribution State, therefore, although the Judge may start out with a 50%-50% division, he might divide the marital property 55%-45%, 60%-40%, etc., after applying several factors, including but not limited to,
Length of the marriage
Relative Age of the parties
Relative health of the parties
Education of the parties
Contribution of a spouse as homemaker
Education and Employability of the parties
I hope I have given you a better understanding of your rights and obligations with respect to the issues you raised,
Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I can receive credit for assisting you, otherwise I will not receive any credit for researching your question andfurnishing you with Answers,
Bonus and Positive Feedback on Survey is greatly appreciated
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,
Hi, Donna, You re most welcome, and Please do not be traumatized. I understand and I can appreciate how difficult this time is for you, but if I may suggest something - I want you to know in advance that he will make every attempt to intimidate you, frighten you, and make you think that you owe him money. I would like you to think of 3 things -
1. He's wrong, He's wrong, and at the risk of repeating myself, He's wrong'
2. Think several months into the future when all of this will be over and it will all be behind you; and lastly,
3. Turn a deaf ear, do not listen to anything he says, close your eyes, and think of a place you used to go to in the past that made you feel very, very relaxed and let your mind stay there, as if the present did not exist and just relax! Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service, otherwise I will not receive any credit for assisting you. Thank you for understanding,
IAnd Yes, please feel free to ask for me any time you have a question or concern that falls into any of the categories assigned to me, "Legal, Real Estate Law, Employment Law, Consumer Protection Law, Personal Injury Law, and Traffic Law",
You can ask for me by typing my name at the beginning of your question, like this,
"For Andrea only.........."
Please be kind enough to rate, "Excellent Service", otherwise I will not receive credit for researching your question, and furnishing you with Answers
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,
ANDREA, I can't seem to get to a page that will allow me to pick a subscription, no need to reply, im just seeing if this will allow me
ANDREA ONLY PLEASE
HI ITS Donna. I'm having a problem w re-activating deactivating account. I have been trying to get in touch with with you but each contact costs $60. I was told by customer service that all correspondences between you and I COULD be lost during reactivation. I will be in touch w you a lot. I just want ty o let you know this, in case you want to somehow save my info for reference.
My name is Donna from pittsfield mass XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).