Can my husband legally take everything out of our joint account and abandon me and our kids and not give us any money?

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Can my husband legally take everything out of our joint account and abandon me and our kids and not give us any money?

We’ve been married for 8 years and I haven’t worked the whole time.

Asked on October 29, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It's unfortunate, but yes, your husband can take everything out of the account because it's a joint account.  However, that does not mean you are without options.

First, deal with the situation that you are in right now.  Little money and unemployed.  Many churches and women's shelters offer support to spouses that have been abandoned as yourself.  Even if you're not a battered wife that needs to go to a shelter, many will have a list of resources that you can tap into to cover the basics like paying for groceries and utilities.

Your next step is to get a divorce going.  Even if this isn't the direction that you hoped for, you need to get the original petition filed and request temporary orders.  In these temporary orders, you can ask for child support and ask the court to order him to return part of the funds from the account to you to help with the support of the children.  If you cannot afford an attorney, ask the church, shelter, or court clerks for lists of any legal aid, legal services, or legal clinic programs to help you file the divorce.  Since he has stripped the account, you should qualify for help through one of your county or regional legal service organizations.


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