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My wife and I are separated however we filed taxes together…

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My wife and I are...
My wife and I are separated however we filed taxes together she doesn't work so just my w2 were being used she went after me and changed direct deposit Accts. I only found this out when I returned to change forms to file myself.I had a return of 6700.00 now she will only give me 2500.00 and she's keeping the rest is this legal?? Please help me
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Family Law
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2/24/2012
Family Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 6 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,582
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

I am sorry for your situation. Technically speaking, the return is as much hers as it is yours if you filed together. However, because you are separated, this complicates matters. This may have a criminal and a civil side

Criminal
You can file a complaint, but the DA may refuse charges if you are still married and this was joint filing. However, if you show that you are separated and she specifically and maliciously "stole" the money, the DA may do so. It is up to them, I am afraid.

Civil
If you have official court-ordered separation, then you can file a motion for contempt on her. If you are not officially separated and this is unofficial, then you can still sue her civilly, or bring this up as part of your separation should you decide to file for official temporary orders.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
What if she refuses to give me any monie?I mean my name was on w2 not hers
Family Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 6 years ago
Hello,

I specifically addressed this under the Civil paragraph of my answer. I'll re-post it below:

If you have official court-ordered separation, then you can file a motion for contempt on her. If you are not officially separated and this is unofficial, then you can still sue her civilly for the money, or bring this up as part of your separation should you decide to file for official temporary orders.

If you wish to sue her civilly without the family court becoming involved as part of separation, you can do so in the Justice of the Peace Court. You'd sue for "unjust enrichment." In Arizona, five elements must be proved to make a case of unjust enrichment: (1) an enrichment; (2) an impoverishment; (3) a connection between the enrichment and the impoverishment; (4) absence of justification for the enrichment and the impoverishment and (5) an absence of a remedy provided by law. City of Sierra Vista v. Cochise Enter., Inc., 144 Ariz. 375, 381, 697 P.2d 1125, 1131 (App. 1984).

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please do not forget to click ACCEPT. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work – I receive no credit for my time with you unless you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you need more information, please use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to answer to your satisfaction. There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, if we continue the conversation. If you feel that I went an extra step to help you, a bonus in the form of another accept or an “add on” (available after you accept) is truly appreciated. You can always link to my profile for another question at a later time:

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