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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16719
Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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Im pretty sure my wife is planning on leaving me and taking

Customer Question

Im pretty sure my wife is planning on leaving me and taking as many of our assests as possible (obviously w/o telling me).
Our joint assets are;
-$350k house ($300k remaining on mortgage)
-checking acct. w/ approx. $20k
assets in her name only;
-2 cars; one purchased when while we were married, the second while we were
engaged (and paid off), both purchased in NY state.
I want to act before she does and wondering what my legal rights are and what, if any, legal action she can take against me if I do the following;
-withdraw all funds from joint checking
-take the 1 car that is paid off (again its in her name and was purchased when were
engaged and living together)
-leave and stay w/ friends
My plan would then be to contact her & proceed w/ divorce
-It seems I should be able to withdraw as little or as much from our joint checking (including all of
it)but concerned the bank would be suspicous and possibly contact my wife?
-concerned she would report the car stolen but it seems that because I'm her husband I cant imagine the police doing anything (of course she could just report it stolen w/o telling them it was me in which case they would take action)
-if I stay w/friends, can she sell the house w/o my permission and/or signature?
-can she sue me in civil court (for the funds, and/or the car)?
Thanks Randy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Just to be clear everything is in both of your names?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wow-I was pretty clear and specific in my question and yet right off the bat you've made it very clear that a) you dont pay attention to detail, b) you're not a real lawyer or worse you're just a bad one.If you read my question(s) carefully I stated that only the house and joint checking acct. are in both our names; both cars are in her name.I do not want to continue w/you; please have a different attorney contact me.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 2 years ago.

I should have been more specific. What I meant was that everything that you're going to be taking is in both of your names. You said "-2 cars; one purchased when while we were married, the second while we were engaged (and paid off), both purchased in NY state." You only mentioned one vehicle as being in her name in your original question, then both in your follow up, so you were not as clear either. I will opt out, though, and allow someone else to assist you further. Please be patient as it might be a few minutes for a new expert to assist you further. Thank you, ***** ***** do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Hello. My name is***** am a licensed attorney and I will be happy to answer your questions.

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Generally, a vehicle that was purchased prior to the marriage and is in wife's name, would be considered a non-marital property and would be given to the spouse who has the title to the vehicle, so even if the paid off vehicle in wife's name is ***** ***** family court will order the vehicle returned.

Generally, if the marital house is in both spouses' names, the both spouses would have to sign a deed and all related documents in order to transfer the ownership of the house or the court would have to order such sale, but one spouse would not be legally able to sell jointly owned house without the other spouse's consent.

Generally, either spouse can withdraw all the funds or close a joint checking account, unless the joint account has some type of restriction requiring for the both spouses to be there to make a withdrawal or to close the account, however, the court generally doesn't look favorable when one spouse takes out all of the marital funds from the joint account and would actually order the husband to return wife's share of the joint account funds, during the divorce.

While I understand how stressful and difficult the situation that you are in could be, it is important not to make any rash or unlawful decisions, which can be used against you during the upcoming divorce case, but to consult with an experienced local divorce attorney who can help you come up with a strategy for your upcoming divorce which would be the most beneficial and effective.

I wish you the best of luck!

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Do you have any related follow up questions? If not please positively rate and accept my answer, so I can be compensated for my work.
Thank you and good luck!
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Do you have any related follow up questions for me? If not please positively rate my answer, so I can receive credit for my work.

Thank you.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.