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Please can you answer this question regarding a marriage separation?

Los Angeles, CA |

My friend is trying to get out of her marriage. She has been faced with a difficult dilemma and I would be grateful for your assistance with this matter. This is not a particularly happy marriage and she has had to suffer greatly.

Her husband wants to borrow USD 11,140 from her in order to pay off his 401K loan. He can then take out another USD 30,000 loan.
He has then promised to pay her back this USD 11,140 plus other bits of alimony. She is concerned that he may not be good as his word and backtrack on the deal. She then could take him to court. Her concern is that he has the necessary finances to battle her on this and she would find it difficult to fight needing between 15,000 to 20,000 to do it. This falls under California law.

What do you advise ?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. I advise that she consult with her family law attorney and understand why this does not sound like a good idea. Also, in your posting you have a conflicting view that she is concerned that "he has the necessary finances to battle her on this." If he has the money to battle her on this, then why would she want to give him more money? Also, if he has money, why does he need to borrow any money from her? This does not add up. It sounds to me at though she is throwing away her money with that loan under those conditions. It does not sound like she really wants to get a divorce, or she'd have a lawyer advising her.

    She would be best served with her own lawyer helping her with these strategic decisions. There's not enough information on Avvo to give sound advice and also this is a public forum. I can imagine the husband or his lawyer seeing this posting and knowing exactly who posted it.

    NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APC ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Mr. Stempler nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims. Comments made on a public forum, such as, to not have any confidentiality because others may read them. If you desire a private consultation with Mr. Stempler that is confidential, please go to and submit a free eCase Review. The result portrayed for a client was dependent on the facts of that case. Results will differ if based on different facts. The Firm and Mr. Stempler are a debt relief agency. The Firm and Mr. Stempler help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

  2. Before doing anything, your friend needs to gather some information. She should speak with an attorney to better understanding the potential risks/consequences of such a "loan", and what options she may have to make certain the funds are repaid. There are also potential risks of taking out another $30,000 while they are still married, without any binding orders/agreements in place. She also needs to gather information about California laws governing spousal support. Absent this, she may cause herself serious legal harm later on.

    I strongly recommend that she contact an attorney directly, give him/her the information and documents necessary to be able to properly and accurately advise her. The information provided here is not sufficient for any kind of reliable response. It's kind of like telling a doctor "my chest feels tight" and requesting a diagnosis from that; too many unknowns.

    I hope this helps.

    Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.

  3. I advice that she seek legal help now. I also advise that she not make any transfer of funds or investments of any kind to him without first seeking legal help.

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