Questions and Answers

My wife transferred money into a new bank account and I have the bank card. What can I legally do with the bank card?

My wife and I are getting ready to go through a divorce, I had a peace order granted against her and am going to court to have her removed for up to 1 to 2 years, so that the divorce can be finalized. However because of this up coming court date she has drained all of my/her bank accounts and put most of the money in her personal IRA. She has also open a new personal account in her name with the money she took from me out of my account.

However the bank sent her new bank/debt card to my home with her new pin and account information. So my question is this, can I legally take that card even though I’m not on the account but am still married to her, go and retrieve some of the money that has been taken from me under false pretense? We have 2 children that are now in my custody and I have no means to take care of them without the money she stole. So what can I legally do with the bank card that I have in my possession?

ANSWER

The Family Court has the authority to order a monetary award to one spouse to equalize (more or less) the assets. However, that won’t happen until the final divorce trial. In the meantime, your wife may spend all the money. Therefore, you may need to ask the Court for an Injunction to freeze that money in that account (and it is fortuitous that you have all the account information) but injunctions are complicated and you will need to speak to a lawyer to do this. I won’t tell you to take the card and you can’t access that money without her permission (or a Court Order) because that would be illegal. Still, the money in that account is yours (and hers). This is why you can ask the Court to freeze it until the final divorce hearing. Also the Court may order her to pay you child support and alimony at the first hearing (called a pendente lite) hearing and may help you with your expenses between then and the final hearing.

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