On the day he was served my ex used community funds to pay off a pre marriage debt of his. He closed a joint account and kept the money. He with held depositing income from our community business until a month later and claimed it wasn't community money (I can tell since I did the book keeping all those years) He has now changed the passwords on the joint business account so he thinks I can't access it, but I can. Can I legally withdraw half of the amounts above? I am not able to work, he is not paying spousal support (it wasn't ordered, but I want to change that) and I need to pay my attorney as that account is depleted. He is making no move to end this in a timely manner so I really need my attorney. I have no savings, I am surviving on temporary disability. Please advise.Thank you. He actually did all of that stuff AFTER I served him, within minutes of getting served he headed to the bank.
The Standard Family Law Restraining Orders on the back of the Summons allow you to withdraw funds, unilaterally for attorney fees and "necessities of life." So you may withdraw those funds even if he objects. His withdrawal, pay-off of separate debts, etc., even though done before the petition was filed may be subject to set-aside and or monetary sanctions. See a competent family law attorney
Your lawyer should know the answer to these questions! - and that person is closest to your case and can advise you on more than just what the law is in California...but upon what tactics to use and when.
Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer could be considered attorney advertising.
Once he was served, the ATROS kicked in (automatic temporary restraining orders.) I would be interested to know if he did this transaction BEFORE he was served...or AFTER.
Basic necessities of life are okay for community funds, but neither party can "raid" the accounts and make changes to title or insurance. Everyone has to maintain status quo until the case is settled.
Attorney fees are considered community needs and you can use funds, in some cases, for that purpose.
Dawn M. Saenz is licensed to practice law in the State of California and the California Supreme Court, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation.
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