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How do I know what legal protection I have of the community assets in our marriage if my husband tries to take everything?

Naselle, WA |

We have a pre-up that my husband has broken. He has removed money from an acct. . He has taken $20K from OUR acct to give to his daughter and told her it is from an acct set up for his children. He plans to continue giving her money from OUR acct. We aren't making it on our SS & interest and have to get money from our savings.
When we married I put all of my money from the sale of my house and car into OUR acct. I put a retirement pension (now exhausted) into OUR acct and was actually contributing over 50% of the income. I have another retirement pension going in + each of us put our SS into our acct. How do I protect my share of CDs, savings & get back the $20K?

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Attorney answers 3


You should immediately schedule a free consultation with a good family attorney to discuss this situation. It sounds like your husband is setting the stage for a favorable result in a divorce. You need to act now to protect your claim for separate property. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on divorce and division of assets and debts for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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Bruce is right. With the exception of real property (land, houses) either spouse can dispose of community property. If he is draining your accounts you may need to file for divorce and get temporary orders in place to freeze the accounts. You should talk to an attorney immediately.

My comments are general statements of the law in Washington and are not meant to be legal advice. Specific legal advice requires an in-depth interview, review of past or ongoing court or agency actions or cases, and an evaluation of the special circumstances of each case.


You should immediately consult with a divorce attorney in your area. If your marriage is broken, an attorney can file for divorce and obtain temporary/permanent restraining orders on the account funds, etc.

Mr. Goforth licensed to practice law in Washington and Idaho. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Mr. Goforth, nor does it constitute specific advice for your particular legal matter. The information provided in this communication is for general reference and informational purposes only, and therefore should not be relied on as legal advice. Legal issues are by their nature complex, and any person with a legal question should fully consult with a qualified attorney.

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