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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My husband and I own a business together. He is having an

Customer Question

My husband and I own a business together. He is having an affair with a woman that used to go to our CrossFit gym and left me about 4 months ago. He has not filed for divorce yet. He has been helping me financially since we have a son and split bills, but when he gets upset with me, he threatens to not help me out finanacially anymore. He has very poor money management and has made terrible decisions with our business money, so I am in charge of the financial side and write out all of the paychecks. If he does choose to stop helping me financially, can I legally withhold that money from his paycheck and write myself a check?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas, but this is more of a business question.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Under Texas law, to withhold money from someone's paycheck, the company needs either a court order or the worker's written consent at the time of the deduction. It's not enough that he promised to pay, you'd need something specifically authorizing you to take the money out of his paycheck. Tex. Labor Code, Section 61.018. This is true even though he's a co-owner.

When one of you eventually files for divorce, you can get a court order for child support and a withholding order if he won't sign anything. Once that's in place, you'll be allowed to take the money directly. Note, though, that for bookkeeping and tax purposes, the money withheld from him should be sent to you as a separate check and not as part of your normal paychecks.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what could he legally do if I DID withhold it from his paycheck?
I have proof of him stealing money from the business, which is why I'm in charge of the finances.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

It's a third degree felony to illegally withhold an employee's wages. It's not a defense that the employee really does owe you the money withheld, because you have to follow proper procedure.

You're free to report him for stealing from the business. The business could bring a lawsuit against him and use a judgement to withhold THAT money from his wages. But that wouldn't be child support, and it's not part of any support case you'd have against him.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
how would I go about filing a report that he stole money? I'd like to have that documented if it helps with anything in the future.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

You would call the police non-emergency number and tell them you want to report theft.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?