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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1423
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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Wash. State: my wife has moved out of our home under a

Customer Question

Wash. State: my wife has moved out of our home under a healthy separation pretense that she says could be up to 90 days with no prior notice to me. She is living rent-free with her brother.
After leaving she stopped her payroll auto-deposits, but did deposit half her normal pay in cash and the balance was routed to a secret bank account she opened before leaving me.
Q: can she legally do what she wants with her money? even though 80% of needed to help pay all our bills (cc, autos, Insurances, mortgage) On all loans we co-signers as spouses.
Q: must she deposit the remaining half balance of her payroll that she routed elsewhere in to our main bills account? ....or can do what she wants with her income money?
Q: She took a new job 45 days prior to leaving, and I know she makes more money. Can I request under legal to see a paystub or W2?
thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law, appeals, landlord-tenant, and other types of law. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also – I will be typing my answer for you so I’ll be back in a few minutes.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 10 months ago.

You're going to want to get your own lawyer soon because she's obviously squirreling away money for future use. This is not helping your situation either because you need to pay bills with this money.

Can you talk to her and tell her she is leaving you without money for the bills?

I'm recommending a lawyer because if you decide to split, or if she decides, she's already hiding assets and you'll have a tough time locating them. You want to get her to stop it now, and a lawyer can help you with that.

She's allowed to do what she wants with her money. In fact, some couples have separate accounts for everything. That being said, she knows she's putting you in a really bad situation and it's apparent that she doesn't care if she is doing that. I'm really sorry this is happening. It's awful, and I understand your frustration. You need to figure if you want to go forward as a married couple or if you can't anymore because she doesn't trust you and now you have good reason not to trust her.

If she's a co-signer, she is responsible for the loans too, so she can't just walk away from them. However, your credit rating is going to take a nosedive unless something is done to stop this right away. If you file for a legal separation or a divorce, your lawyer can make a motion for an injunction, getting her to stop moving money around. The judge may even freeze assets so that she can't do that and so that she pays her share of the bills.

She's supposed to be paying the bills with you but at this point, she is doing what she wants. The only way you're going to be able to stop her is to get an injunction against her from moving her assets. It's unlikely that you are going to get this without filing for at least a separation.

Also, as far as the W2 is concerned, she does not have to show that to you. During a separation or divorce action, she MUST show that to you. It's called discovery, and you're allowed to find out how much she makes.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this but I hope this helps you.

I can also find lawyers for you if you'd like. You can also request that she pay your legal fees!

Does this answer your question?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Depressing for sure. I had not thought about the stashing for a future nest egg / leaving me. I guess the rest makes since. I will need to try to pressure her through our church and family to stop and go back to normal pre-separation banking consistencies.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 10 months ago.

I know. I'm really sorry. I just don't trust her right now and you shouldn't either. I've been doing this too long and this raises a red flag with me. I think she has her mind made up from what you're telling me.

I hope you can work this out but if she isn't going to cooperate then you will need an attorney and definitely get her to pay for it by asking your lawyer to request it.

I can find lawyers for you if/when you want me to do that. I'm willing to help you through this.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 10 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Thanks!