as that is the legal residence for both of us. I have two questions: 1. How quickly can I get the divorce finalized so I can move on with my life? 2. He has withdrawn almost $10,000 from our savings account in the last 10 days. How can I stop that?
You say you "are divorcing." Do you not have an attorney already to give you advice? Your private attorney who is familiar with your case would be the best place for advice.
I don't disagree with anything Attorney Osborne has said. I would simply add that based on the fact that he has withdrawn $10,000 in ten days, it sounds as if you need to act immediately to protect from further withdrawal of assets.
If you don't already have an attorney, you should see one IMMEDIATELY to discuss both legal and practical steps you might be able to take to protect yourself financially. For instance, it sounds like it's time to separate your finances, perhaps by opening an account in your own name, by being very deliberate about (changing?) what you deposit into joint accounts, by procuring an agreement on what joint funds may be used for (mediation?), and perhaps by placing some fair portion of the funds from joint accounts into a separate one.
There is also a possibility that your soon-to-be-ex did this on advice of HIS legal counsel. If that is the case, good communication can go a long way toward clearing the air about what has happened. However, I would not make any assumptions or excuses. I would advise my client on ways to protect themselves, because all the court orders in the world cannot get back cash after it has been spent on a big party.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
You will need to immediately file an action for divorce and have the Court order that both parties be enjoined from disposing of marital assets -- including bank accounts. While you can file and GET a final decree in about 90 days, the problem is going to be whether or not you can get the marital assets and marital debts divided that quickly. With a marriage of that duration and the fact that you have at least $10K in bank accounts indicates to me that there is probably a good bit that needs to be divided. This is not a time to try and do something quickly just to get it done and get on with your life. You need to make sure that everything is examined, fully explored and properly divided -- however this is done is what you will have to live with the rest of your life.
Legal disclaimer: Janne Berry Osborne is an attorney duly licensed to practice law in the State and Federal Courts of South Carolina, including the Bankruptcy Court. This answer is offered for general educational and informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between Janne Berry Osborne and any other person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your specific legal issues.
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