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Attorney & Mediator
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my husband walked out and left me and our daughter in the house

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my husband walked out and left me and our daughter in the house with all the bills; about seven months later, i applied for a hardship withdrawal from my 401(k) to help me pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, utility bills an other joint bills he left me with. he is getting the community property interest in the 401(k) as part of the settlement. his lawyer sent me a letter saying that i violated the mandatory family law restraining order by withdrawing the money and that i will be responsible for paying the money back plus interest. neither one of us had filed for divorce at the time and neither one of us had lawyers; he did not file for divorce until the follwing year. the money was used to pay our debts. i continued to contribute to the 401(k) plan and never accessed it once the divorce papers were served to me. am i in violation of the orders like his lawyer asserts?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 7 years ago.
From the information you have provided you would not be in violation. The restraining order would commence once the petition for divorce was filed. Since you took funds before any court action was initiated you were not in any violation. It is true that you would have to "refund" the funds taken, but seeing that he left you without recourse, the court is more likely to not make you responsible since he was responsible for his share of the debts and he would need to refund the contributions you had made when he abandoned you. So you have good arguements to make to the court as to why you should not be responsible. He left you without supporting his family which was his responsibility, so that is a negative that the court is not likely to see in his favor. The lawyer appears to be using a scare tactic in order to attempt to get more for his client.

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