is it illegal for a spouse to withdraw money from a mutual fund with having been granted access

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is it illegal for a spouse to withdraw money from a mutual fund with having been granted access

I bank with USAA and we shared a joint account. I also have mutual funds, IRAs, etc with USAA. My current spouse ran up a huge credit card bill and to cover it up withdrew a large sum of money from my mutual fund by using the mobile app. she was able to use the same security questions as we had not changed them or she just knew the answer. what are the criminal effects of this act and can I have her brought up on charges.

Asked on February 21, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, any property acquired during the marriage is community property....regardless of whose name the account is in or who usually controls it.  It is, therefore, legal for either spouse to access or control the asset. With that in mind, if your spouse took funds that were community property, then most likely law enforcement will not press charges against your spouse because it's not against the law to steel from yourself or your own marital estate.
However, if this was a separate property account (meaning that the asset was obtained prior to marriage), then you would have a better shot at filing a theft claim because the asset was your property independently, not the two of your jointly.
You can attempt to file charges.  But you will most likely have to file for divorce if you want any relief.  You can request the court to award you an uneven share of the community estate since she has actively engaged in acts of fraud (and/or wasting of community assets) which depleted your right to the various accounts.  The idea is that your spouse has already received a large share of the community estate, therefore you should have a right to a greater share of whatever is left to compensate for the loss.


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