We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years. Call us.
415.834.1120 24/7 answering service

Q & A: I’m afraid my spouse is going to drain our bank accounts and leave me with nothing. What can I do?

Upon the filing of a divorce action, the automatic temporary restraining orders (ATRos) immediately take effect. The purpose of the ATROs is to maintain the status quo, and to prevent either spouse from taking all the money out of the bank accounts, or disposing of other assets, while the divorce is pending.

Once the respondent is served with divorce papers, he or she is then bound by the terms of the ATROs. Filing for a divorce and serving the paperwork is, in and of itself, protection against your spouse depleting bank accounts or selling assets.

California law also provides that spouses owe one another fiduciary duties, which require the highest good faith and fair dealing in all transactions involving community property. These fiduciary duties seek to prevent one spouse from mismanaging the community estate by, among other things, taking all the funds out of a bank account and disposing of them on nonnecessities.

If your spouse does remove funds from a bank account, or otherwise disposes of or conceals assets, you can demand an accounting and seek remedies for breach of fiduciary duties. Talk to your attorney about this option.