If my husband never put my name on his savings account, is it illegal if I pulled out half? 47 Answers as of August 10, 2012

We are fixing to go through a divorce in September, but still just as married right now as we were when we got married.

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Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP | Matthew Shipman
In Indiana, you typically are entitled to 50% of the marital estate whether the asset is in your name, his name or joint names.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/10/2012
Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
This account could be determined to be marital property if it was accumulated during the course of your marriage. Any disbursements should be determined by the Family Court during your yet-to-be filed divorce proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/8/2012
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
If your name is not on the checking account, I am not sure you have the ability to withdraw from that account. Under the law, that money could be considered community property, but that is a question for the Court during your divorce. You could be found obligated to reimburse your husband for that amount of the withdrawal if there is other property available to offset that amount of money.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/8/2012
Law Office of James Bordonaro
Law Office of James Bordonaro | James Albert Bordonaro
I'm not so sure it is even practical to consider withdrawing $ as you would have to have a pre-existing privilege to be able to access his funds. However, you should consider filing a Legal Separation or Temporary Order to keep the parties from depleting their assets beyond paying regular bills.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 7/31/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
No, this is not illegal, as the contents of the account is considered marital property, of which you should be entitled to half.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/7/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Any money earned during the marriage is community and you have a interest in it, it is not illegal for you to withdraw money from an account with your name on it.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Bruning & Associates, PC
    Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
    Thank you for the interesting question. It is unlikely that the bank will allow you to withdraw funds from an account on which you are not listed as a signatory. However, all funds obtained during the marriage are marital property with certain exceptions. One such exception is an inheritance received by one or the other spouse, and kept in a separate account. You should consult an experienced family law lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    If your name is not on the account you probably do not have access to the account. The bank should not let you take anything out of the account.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If your name was not on the account, you should not have been allowed access to remove funds.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna PC | Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna
    If he ner put your name an that account, the bank will not allow you to withdraw the money, divorce or not.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    If your name isn't on the account, then you are not an owner of the account, and your marital status is irrelevant. I doubt the bank is going to allow you to withdraw any funds from that account because they would open themselves up to a lawsuit if they did.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    While you are probably entitled to share in that bank account it would be illegal for you to take money out of that account in your name is not on it and the bank should not allow you to take any money. Do not forge his name.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    You need to consult your attorney about this with all the facts. I am reluctant on what you have said to tell you to take money from an account in some other person's name.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    The bank will not let you pull any moneys out of an account in someone else's name.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    What does your attorney say? The bank should not give it to you.. so I would get a bank statement and use it as part of a property settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
    If you are not a joint owner of the bank account with your husband, the bank would not let you withdraw half of the money in the account. If you are concerned that if you file for divorce your husband might take the money out of the account and hide it somewhere you should ask the attorney you hire to file the divorce to get a status quo order when you file that would require both you and your husband not to make any changes in ownership of what might be marital property and subject to division between you and him until there is a division of marital property in the divorce case. If he should withdraw the money that you think was marital property before you file, as part of the divorce process you would be able to investigate what was done by him with the money he had in the savings account as part of the discovery process and if it is determined to be marital property the court would probably divide it between you and him unless the court found that he had used the money in the savings account to pay marital debt.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If you are not on the account, how can you withdraw part or all of the balance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    All property accumulated during a marriage is marital. If that is the case with this money, you are entitled to half of it. If you take half, you should be prepared to account for what you do with it, just as your husband must account for money he uses. If your name is not on the account, however, I do not know how you will be able to withdraw any funds.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    If the money in the account came from earnings, the funds are community property. If they came from a separate source, e.g. an inheritance, the funds are separate property to your husband. I suggest you keep copies of statements from that account, not remove any funds, but file a motion for temporary orders as soon as you file for the divorce in September, and ask the court to either give you half because you need some operating funds, or freeze this along with other accounts, so neither one of you can abscond with any funds.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    How can you pull out money from an account which is not yours? If he had it before you married, it is probably still his, at least the amount that was in the account when you married. Do not do anything illegal such as forging his name.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    If you did not have signatory rights you should not have taken the money without a court order. You would have had to have committed forgery or deceit.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Whoa, slow down. First, you can not take out money from an account if your name is not on it. Were you planning to forge his signature on a withdrawal slip? Don't. Go talk to a lawyer. It is not all that important that his name is on it, there are a lot of factors to talk about. Call a good divorce lawyer and get some advice.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Office of Ilona Antonyan | Gerald W. Hokstad
    If the money is separate property you are not entitled to one half. Your question does not provide all of the facts necessary to give a proper answer. If the money in that savings account is community property, then you are entitled to one half.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    It sure is. I do not understand how the bank let you do it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Weinpel Law Office, P.C. | Marc Weinpel
    If the account is in his name, the bank will not let you "pull out half." If the account is in both names, you have right to withdraw any or all of it assuming that it consists of community funds (that is income earned during marriage).
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    The bank will not let you take money from an account which does not list you as an owner. It may be community property, but no way to get it without a court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    If the account holds community funds, ie income during the marriage, then you would be entitled to half. If the account is not community then you may have to answer to the court for the funds taken.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    It is doubtful that there was illegality in your action. In general, the income earned during marriage by either of you is community property. You own 1/2. there is no illegality in withdrawing your 1/2 of funds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Offices of Jayson A. Soobitsky, P.A. | Jayson A. Soobitsky
    In Maryland it is illegal to withdraw money from a spouses bank account if your name is not on the account unless you are his power of attorney, have been appointed guardian of his property by court order, or have a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    If you removed monies from an account, for which you were not a signer, I have to wonder how the bank let you do that. The money in that account may or may not be yours. That would depend on the source of the money and when it was acquired.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Whether you committed a criminal act (e.g. forgery or theft) depends on how you obtained funds from an account that, apparently, you had no legal ownership of even though in the divorce the funds in that account would be considered marital. It also depends on what your husband and/or the bank want to do about your conduct. Clearly, however, you seem to agree that you have done something wrong and that you had no legal justification for what you did. Whether there should be any consequences for your actions will depend on how the divorce case is handled and what other facts are important to deciding all the financial issues.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You really need to consult with an attorney. Under Florida divorce law, you are entitled to half of the funds. However, you may have violated banking laws by taking money from an account which did not have your name on it.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    I don't see how you could have pulled money out of his savings account if it was in his name alone. So the question is, how did you get that money? I can't answer whether it was "illegal" unless I know how you were able to get the bank to give you half of the funds in an account that did not have your name on it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If your name was not on the account, how did you have the power to draw out any funds? Were you an allowed signatory on the account? Did your husband allow you to draw funds from his account under your own name? Did you forge your husband's signature to get the funds? There could possibly be consequences if you were not authorized to draw funds from that account. In any event, if you took funds from his account in anticipation of separation and/or divorce, you are accountable to the community for the funds that you took. If those funds were your husband's separate property, you would owe him 100% of what you took (perhaps plus interest). If those funds were community property, you would owe your husband 50% of what you took.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    I would not recommend doing what you are thinking if doing. You need to get the advice of a good divorce lawyer, and proceed only after a full consultation, based upon all if the facts of your situation. You may be entitled to one-half of the money in that account, but I would not advise you to just take it. I would recommend that you keep a copy of bank statements that show how much money was in the account when you got married, how much has been in there throughout the marriage and how much is in there now. That should help you prove what you are entitled to. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    John H. Anlian Attorney At Law | John H. Anlian
    If your name is not on his bank account, then you have no right to remove any of the money in that account without his authorization. This does not mean that you don't have a good claim to the money. If the money in that account was acquired by your husband during the marriage, then you have a good claim to a portion of that money when you file for divorce. One Exception would be if he inherited the money.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    The real question is: Can someone, other than the account holder, withdraw money from a bank account regardless of the relationship between the withdrawing person and the account holder? I suggest you speak with your local District Attorney's office on this one. It may not have anything to do with 'marital status'.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/30/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    No, the bank should not give you access.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Marca Tanner Attorney at Law | Marca Tanner
    If your name is not on the account, and you are not an authorized signor on the account, the bank will not let you do it. As far it being being a marital asset for the purposes of the divorce, you would be entitled to half, but as the bank goes, they cannot legally give money from an account to a person other than those authorized on their agreement with the account holder.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    I may be a little confused, but if your name is not on the account how do you intend on getting any of it out of the bank never mind half? Only way I can see it being done is by you forging his name and thats 100% illegal!!
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    If your husband is the only signatory on the account, you are committing fraud to pull out any.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Ivy Law Group PLLC
    Ivy Law Group PLLC | Ruth Emily Vogel
    No, it is not illegal. In fact you could take it all. However whatever you take will be put in your column of the ledger when dividing marital assets and debts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You don't state whether the account contains separate or community funds. If separate, then no; if community, yes, but you are suppose to consult with each other. Furthermore, if your name is not on the account, how are you going to take the funds out without committing fraud.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    The bank should not let you withdraw anything without his signature. If they do and you do, then you will be required to account for it in court.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    In all likelihood, the account is a community account even though his name is the only name that appears on it. If it is a community account, you are entitled to one-half the proceeds. I do not know how the bank could allow you to withdraw one-half the funds if your name does not appear on the account.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Unless your name is on the account, you had no right to it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    No, it is not illegal. What would be illegal is if you do get a divorce and lie about the money.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/3/2012
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