How is property acquired during marriage split in the case of divorce? 25 Answers as of June 14, 2011

Can my spouse take anything he wants because he bought it during our marriage? My husband drained our bank account, changed his address, and has been working on a room in his moms basement to live in. He has moved out and is now wanting to take possession of things that were bought during our marriage. I am not allowing this and he is making threats. I have given him all of his personal items clothes, etc. and his tools and generators etc. I think we should split the rest and or sell it. He left me with a lot of bills and no money to pay them. What can I do?

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Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
Typically, property acquired during a marriage in Ohio is split evenly during a divorce. There are situations where a court will split it "equitably" in a manner that is not 50/50. The reasons for a court doing this vary depending on the circumstances of each case. You should promptly consult with an attorney about a restraining order preventing him from getting rid of any other property that you may have a claim to.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/14/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
To be safest, you should retain an experienced family law attorney to advise and represent you in your divorce. You are entitled to equal division of the net community assets, and it sounds like your bully husband is getting out of control with his selfish demands and conduct.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You need to consult with an attorney to discuss your rights and options. Anything that was purchased during the marriage is marital property subject to equitable distribution, regardless of who paid for it or whose name it is in. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/8/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
In Oregon: You need a lawyer. When one spouse seems aggressive, you need to respond until he or she realizes the court is in charge; not them.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Depends on the state and additional factors. If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Hire a lawyer now! Get temporary orders in place prohibiting him from disposing of property, and get the court to order him to pay a portion of the bills, split his income, etc during the proceedings. First and foremost, get a professional to help you stop the insanity. As for division of property, your soon-to-be ex needs to wrap his head around something, property bought during the marriage is community property unless he can show it was bought with separate assets. His income (yours too) is community during the marriage. So if he thinks "I went to work and I bought that couch with my money from my job so the couch is mine" he is mistaken. The job was his responsibility and the money from his job is community, and regardless of who wrote the check or pulled the cash out of pocket, it was community money that bought the couch so the community owns the couch.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law | Naomi Hirayasu
    The law varies by state. Call a lawyer in your state to answer this question.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, community property belongs to both of you, so there are no rules as to whose possession it should be in. Ultimately, if the two of you cannot come to agreement, then the court will decide at trial. If you need to have the court decide where the property should be prior to trial (such as wanting him to stop taking whatever he wants), then you should bring a motion for temporary orders.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    All property existing at the time of divorce must be divided into marital or separate categories. Everything is presumed to be marital unless a party can prove otherwise. Who purchased the property or whose name is on the title does not control whether it is marital or separate. the The marital property will be fairly divided. Until there is a divorce case filed, however, there are no rules or controls of any kind.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    It is imperative that you retain a divorce lawyer ASAP to help protect your rights! Once your divorce attorney has filed for a divorce, then he or she might be able to better protect you and your property. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to see a domestic relations lawyer, pronto. What your husband holds and what you hold that was acquired during the term of the marriage is marital property. But until enjoined by the court, he could sell some of the items you "gave" to him and spend the money. He is not supposed to do this, but it happens, and people lie. To get your fair share please seek counsel now.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You are correct. Things that were purchased during the marriage is marital property, despite the fact that he may have purchased it instead of you. As marital property, it must be rightfully divided. I encourage you to contact the office to make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    File for divorce, if you cannot reconcile your marriage. Either of you have rights to the property while you are married. However, once you file for divorce there will be a status quo order in place until one of you gets it modified, or until you get a judgment of divorce. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    It should be split by agreement and only those things that you cannot agree on should be brought to the court's or mediator's attention.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    All assets are presumed marital in a divorce. It is up to the party claiming a non-marital interest to prove it in court by showing documentation that the asset falls into a category of non-marital assets. Non-marital assets in Minnesota may include inheritance, assets owned prior to the marriage, gifts to one party, but not both.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There are Automatic Orders that enter once you file a case that prevent the transfer or disposal of any assets while the case is pending. So you could get court orders to distribute the assets at the time of the final hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    All property acquired during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. In the absence of certain factors (drug and alcohol abuse, wasteful dissipation, etc), the Courts will usually split things 50/50. However, in your situation where your husband allegedly ran up big debts, spent the money and drained the joint bank account, the Court may find that he wastefully dissipated the marital assets, and may rule to give you a larger share in equitable distribution.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Any property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You can file for divorce, seek ex parte orders keeping him from disposing of property and temporary orders saying who controls what until your divorce is finalized.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, anything acquired during the marriage is considered community property, with the exception of gifts and inheritance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Cindy Lin
    Law Office of Cindy Lin | Cindy Lin
    Washington is a community property state, meaning that subject to some exceptions, property that is acquired during the marriage is community property (1/2 belonging to each spouse). A court should determine how all property should be divided in the course of your divorce proceedings. When you file for divorce, you can ask the court for a temporary restraining order that can prevent your husband from taking property, converting assets, etc. before the court finalizes the divorce and enters an order for division of property. FYI, debts acquired during the marriage are community debt also. Responsibility for these should also be determined in your divorce proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    After filing for divorce, the court will divide up the property. Whether or not you wish to let him control the property is entirely between the two of you at this time. All property acquired during marriage (other than certain property which qualifies as separate property) is subject to equal division, regardless of who actually purchased the property. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you cannot agree on how to divide the property, in Georgia the judge will divide it for the parties according to equitable distribution - what is fair and equitable according to the judge under the circumstances of the case. It doesn't matter who bought it or if it's titled in only one person's name; if it was acquired during the marriage, it is generally marital property. You need to retain a lawyer to protect your property interests.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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