What to Do if Your Spouse is Withholding Money From You in a Divorce
Going through a divorce can be an incredibly difficult and emotional time. You and your spouse may be struggling to divide up assets fairly while tensions run high. Unfortunately, some spouses take advantage of the divorce process to hide money and assets from their soon-to-be ex. This can leave the other spouse without the financial resources they need to start their new life after divorce.
If you suspect your husband is concealing money or property during your Minnesota divorce, it’s crucial to take action quickly to protect yourself and your settlement. But where do you begin when dealing with a spouse who seems determined to cut you off financially?
Let’s take a closer look at what actions you can take if your husband is withholding money while you go through a divorce in Minnesota.
Can Your Spouse Legally Withhold Money During a Divorce?
Many spouses wonder: “Can my husband legally stop giving me money while we’re getting divorced?” Unfortunately, the answer is complicated.
In Minnesota, the general rule is that neither spouse can damage the financial status quo once a divorce is filed until the divorce is finalized. This means actions like closing joint bank accounts or canceling a spouse’s credit cards are prohibited.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your husband has to give you money to pay for your expenses during the divorce process. To get temporary financial support, you’ll likely need to request spousal maintenance through a court order.
Some other key rules about divorce and finances in Minnesota:
- Your spouse cannot hide assets or money you have a marital claim to in the divorce.
- Neither spouse should withdraw large sums of cash from bank accounts.
- In general, both spouses are entitled to financial transparency during divorce.
To fully understand your rights and get the support you need, speaking with a divorce lawyer is crucial. A family law attorney can advise you on steps to take if your spouse is withholding money during divorce in Minnesota.
How to Respond If Your Spouse Cuts You Off Financially
Being suddenly cut off from family finances can leave you stranded without money to pay for your needs. Here are some steps to take right away if your spouse decides to stop providing you financial support during your separation or divorce:
- Open your own bank account. Having a separate bank account ensures you have access to funds your husband can’t touch or withdraw without your consent.
- Gather financial documents. Get copies of tax returns, bank statements, retirement accounts, credit card statements, and debts. This provides proof of marital assets.
- Change account passwords. Update passwords on existing joint accounts to stop your spouse from taking more money out.
- Consult with a divorce attorney. A lawyer can advise you on getting temporary court orders for spousal support if needed. They can also start discovery to uncover any hidden assets.
- File a motion. In some cases, you may need to file an emergency motion asking the court to order your husband to pay certain bills or give you access to money to meet essential needs.
- Consider asking for an advance. If you and your spouse have already begun divorce proceedings, you can request an advance on your expected property settlement.
Don’t let your husband bully or manipulate you financially during divorce in Minnesota. Understanding your rights and taking swift action helps ensure you get the money you need during this difficult transition.
Uncovering Hidden Assets: How To Find Money Your Spouse is Concealing
Many women going through divorce find themselves thinking, “I’m sure my husband is hiding money from me, but I don’t know how to find it.” Financial deception during divorce is more common than you might think.
In Minnesota, spouses have a duty to provide transparency about their income, expenses, assets, and debts during the divorce process. When one spouse is concealing money or property, it’s considered marital asset dissipation.
Here are some warning signs your husband may be hiding assets and steps you can take:
Warning Signs Your Spouse is Hiding Money
- They suddenly become secretive about finances and investments.
- Bills are going unpaid and they claim to have less income.
- Your standard of living has changed and they claim money is tight.
- They open separate bank accounts only in their name.
- They transfer property, like a house or car, out of the marital estate.
- They stop depositing paychecks into joint bank accounts.
- They rack up debt without your knowledge through loans, credit cards, etc.
How to Uncover Hidden Assets
- Subpoena financial records. Your divorce lawyer can send subpoenas to banks, employers, and investment firms requesting statements.
- Conduct formal discovery. You have the right to ask your spouse to produce documents related to finances and assets.
- Get copies of tax returns. Review returns from during and prior to your marriage to identify undisclosed income sources.
- Use forensic accountants. Divorce lawyers often work with forensic accountants to analyze records and recognize irregularities.
- Check real estate records. Search property records to see if your spouse purchased real estate without your knowledge.
- Talk to friends and family. Ask trusted connections if they know anything about assets your husband has not disclosed.
By taking proactive steps with your divorce attorney, you can bring hidden marital property into the light. Do not let your spouse get away with lying about assets that are rightfully yours too.
What To Do If You Are a Victim of Financial Abuse During Divorce
Many women are shocked to learn they are victims of domestic violence when their husbands use money to control and punish them during divorce.
Financial abuse involves behaviors where one spouse gains power and control by restricting access to money. This abuse can range from lying about assets to racking up debt without your consent.
Here are some common signs you may be experiencing financial abuse:
- Your spouse will not share any information about income, expenses, investments, etc no matter how many times you ask.
- Your spouse empties bank accounts without warning and cuts off your access to funds.
- You are unable to pay for basic necessities like groceries, utilities, medication, etc.
- Your spouse makes you account for every penny you spend.
- They prevent you from working or limit your access to vehicles and bank accounts.
- They damage your credit by fraudulently opening accounts in your name.
- They refuse to pay spousal or child support as ordered by the court.
If you recognize financial abuse in your marriage, take these steps:
- Consult with a divorce lawyer who has experience handling domestic abuse cases. Do not let your spouse know you are seeking legal help.
- Create a safety plan for how to gain independence.
- Open a separate bank account and start building credit in your own name.
- Maintain records as evidence of the financial abuse.
- Ask for an emergency court order for financial support.
- Request a restraining order if needed to prevent further abuse.
You have the right to walk away from an abusive marriage and get the financial support you deserve during and after your divorce. Do not let shame or fear hold you back from seeking help.
Our Minnesota Family Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
Divorce creates many hardships, but your financial security does not need to be one of them. The seasoned family law attorneys at Martine Law have extensive experience handling cases of hidden money and financial abuse during marriage dissolution.
We will stand by your side and be a fierce advocate to ensure you transition to your new life on fair terms. Don’t let your husband take advantage any longer.
Contact our Minnesota divorce lawyers today to schedule a consultation.