How to stop spouse from spending 401K monies without a care

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to stop spouse from spending 401K monies without a care

Spouse has upon retirement age decided he wants to be unfaithful and has even
opened a separate checking account for his retirement monies. He has only
received one Railroad Retirement check that I know of, but I know he has closed
his 401K and believe that he is spending it drinking We have in previous years
had to close my 401K Early with penalties to pay our debt to the IRS. I want
to know how I can stop him from spending the retirement money he has withdrawn
from his 401K account

Asked on August 28, 2018 under Family Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't stop him from spending money while you and he are married: either spouse can spend whatever they like, on whatever they like. This why some spouses have savings depleted by gambling, others by excessive shopping or by a spouse giving his/her money to a hardluck relative or a charitable cause or religious institution. If you divorce him and get an order dividing assets or entitling you to some level of support from him, that will help control his spending and insure that you get some assets or money, but outside of a divorce, where assets are divided and support ordered, the law does not intervene in spending.

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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