can a spouse control all money in a marriage? If the other doesn’t agree

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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can a spouse control all money in a marriage? If the other doesn’t agree

My husband refused to give me new credit cards after our computers were hacked. Also, refuses to put my name on accounts and investments. Is that legal?

Asked on September 17, 2019 under Family Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, one spouse can do this. The law does not get involved in a couple's finances or domestic relations unless and until there is a divorce case filed--without a divorce (or possibly legal separation, depending on the state) case, the court and law have no authority to tell the members of a married couple how to live their lives, how to treat each other, etc. So he does not have to give you credit cards or put your name on the accounts or investments, just like if you have your own job or income, you can keep your money away from him (e.g. in your own account; have your own credit card; etc.). If you end up in a divorce case, then the court wil divide assets and assign support, but not until then.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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