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My spouse closed our joint account three years ago, keeps "his" money to himself. Is that legal?

Mesquite, TX |

Three years ago, when I was pregnant, my spouse closed our joint bank account and put all the money into a new account without telling me. I was visiting my mom out of state. He called me and said, "ha ha, the account's closed". I have a small part-time job and stay home with my son, but I am interviewing for full-time work. Is it legal that he does not let me have access to the money? He still expects me to "help" him with other bills, like cable and groceries and doctor bills. He never gives me any "allowance" for the kid's clothes or my own medical expenses unless it is an emergency. Is this legal?

Attorney Answers 1


Whether your spouse's actions are illegal or just ill-informed really isn't the issue. Calling it a name doesn't get you your money. And a chunk of whatever is in that account is very likely your money.

Texas is a community property state, and I'll assume that you and your husband do not have any sort of prenup or marital agreement. One of the many rules of community property that may apply to your situation is what is usually called the "income rule." Generally, income earned during a marriage is community property, and wages are a great example. If your husband is depositing his or your wages into his secret account, he's hiding your money from you.

You need to get a handle on this before it gets out of hand. You might begin by educating your husband on community property, or directing him to any of the many resources on Texas community property principles that are widely available.

This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Texas. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

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I didn't really want money, just fair treatment and not to have to "beg" for money for the children's doctor visits, because he holds onto it very tightly.