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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99962
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I have two questions.... 1) can an ex-spouse take money from

Customer Question

I have two questions....
1) can an ex-spouse take money from a joint bank account that was acquired about 3 years after separation. Also I was unaware her name was on the account. And the money she took was from a medical disability. So was it illegal for her to take that money?2) my ex was covered for medical insurance after separation (it was in the agreement) however I became common law with a new woman. I informed her that she could not use the benefits and why. If she continued to use the benefits when I'm common law with a new woman, is that legal?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

I am happy to answer your questions but I just want to gain a better understanding first about how the account was opened. Are you saying you had this account before but did not know it was a joint account?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I had the account then added her name when I deployed to Afghanistan and she never took her name of as she said she did on the separation agreement
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

So you are saying she actually lied in the agreement and said she had removed her name from all accounts or that she said she would do that after signing the agreement?

And what does the agreement say about the medical benefits?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
she signed off the agreement which said that she no longer had a joint account and was not entitled to any money earned after the separation. Because she signed, I thought that she had removed herself off the account. She did not but has been watching it and we think she's been doing other transactions too. But she then stole this large amount leaving the bank account at zero. It says that she is under is benefits until no longer eligible
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

So here is the law.

She did not act illegally in the sense that it is no a theft or fraud since her name is ***** ***** account.

It is a clear breach of the agreement and even without the agreement she would owe you the money.

You can and frankly should take her back to court to enforce the agreement and for an order that she pay you back in full and pay interest as well as our legal costs.

In terms of the benefits you are not correct though. She is eligible until you divorce.

In my view, as a senior family lawyer, your best next step is to pay a lawyer to send her a letter threatening a lawsuit and a claim for legal costs.

Then if that doesn't get you the money back you would then bring the application to the court. If you cannot afford a lawyer for that process you can self-represent and if it gets that far you can always post on this site again and I can assist you through the process. I may also be able to suggest ways to get some legal help for free.

For now feel free to reply back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope you feel I have earned a 5- star rating but if you don't then please do not hesitate to post back and let me know how I can further assist you. Finally, please understand that even after you rate me I a still here for you and you can post follow-up questions later on if you think of them and there is no further charge for that of course.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I understand she is eligible until divorce for benefits but I became common law with another woman therefore I told her she was not eligible, however she continued to use the benefits
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

But you are not correct in law. She is eligible because you are not divorced. That is how the law works. In fact it is why many divorce. They want their new spouse/partner to be on their benefits.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
even though my new spouse is entitled to my benefits, my ex is too? That's not possible
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

No. Your new spouse is not at this point because you have a legally married spouse who is entitled to them pursuant to your agreement where it says she is entited so long as she is eligible and that is until you divorce.

I know you find this surprising but the law is very clear about this. It is not a grey area at all.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
It's clear but unclear, I thought she is not eligible once I became common law with a new spouse my coverage and admin at work told me so. And she was supposed to take her name off the account and said she did but didn't then she took the money. It was a joint account but she said it wasn't so I was asking if she had the right to take that money. You don't have to be condescending to me about my questions, I asked for your advice so I would know how to proceed, rudeness is not appreciated as I am not educated in law as you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I'm military and due to the nature of the job, my current spouse is on all my paperwork. Due to my current spouse being common law, through the military she is entitled to medical benefits. So I thought because all my paperwork states that I am common law, my ex is no longer able to get medical benefits because she can't be for the she isn't on any documentation. If you can explain to me how I'm common law with one woman and the other still gets benefits even if the company will no longer allow it?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

She did not have the right to take the money. It is not her money and she also breached her agreement with you. She absolutely will be ordered to pay you back. But the point is that the admin at work does not know about your agreement or how family law works. I am certainly not being condescending. Of course I don't expect you to know the law. The sad thing is that your lawyer didn't explain to you what you were agreeing to. It is standard and the court would have ordered it but you certainly should have been told what that provision means.

The agreement between you and your spouse binds you both. And the insurance companies should know this if the admin does not.

You simply cannot remove her from your benefits until you divorce or you are in breach of your agreement and she could get an order requiring you to personally reimburse her for any costs she incurs.

The real problem is that no one made it clear to you what you were agreeing to.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
If the insurance where the medical coverage will not allow her medical benefits because I'm common law with another woman, it's the insurance that won't allow her them not me. If insurance won't allow her than I can't do anything about it. Does that mean that I am in the right?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

No because you were not supposed to try and remove her and put your common law spouse on your benefits yourself. So if they now say she is no longer eligible this is where you are going to be in trouble and may be liable to her for these expenses personally. This is why it is very concerning that your own lawyer didn't explain this to you.

For now, and until you are divorced, your legally married spouse is eligible for all medical benefits. After the divorce your common law spouse will be.

Do you see what I mean? You clearly were not told what you were agreeing to and this is very serious now.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
i didn't remove her to put my new spouse on them. I was told by medical insurance that since I am now common law with another woman, my ex is no longer covered. I didn't remove her, insurance did because my new spouse is covered under her own benefits, she does not need mine. However the insurance place will not allow my ex medical benefits of I am common law and my dependant is my new spouse
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

Then it may be that your situation is different because this involves a specific governmental insurance plan. I personally have never heard of a situation where the insurers states that a separated spouse is no longer eligible because the common law spouse this. But if you can show that this is the case you should be able to succeed. But I was thinking about your situation while waiting for you to reply and was thinking that your spouse has done something so wrong with respect to that bank account that the courts will not have any sympathy for her in any event and so even if you refused to allow her to have any benefits the court is going to be most sympathetic with your situation and not at all sympathetic to hers.

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