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Large money transfer by spouse is a warning sign of trouble

Married partners in Georgia generally work out how to share income and pay bills. Many people use a joint bank account, but trouble can arise if one spouse starts to act suspiciously with money. Financial advisers warn people that, even when the law could be on their side, recovering money after a spouse has moved it is always more difficult than preventing its loss.

The situation of one man, whose wife removed $130,000 from a joint account to an account in her name, only highlights the problem. In a public advice column, he revealed that he demanded that his wife return the money to their joint account or add his name to her new account. She responded that $100,000 was locked in a certificate of deposit account for a minimum of six months. She claimed to earn $500 monthly from the account. The financial adviser responding to his letter warned that she had to be lying about that figure because it was three times the current rate of return on such accounts.

The advice columnist suspected that she was planning a divorce. Filing for divorce, however, will not give her a legal right to all of the money. Regardless of whether a state follows the rules of community property or equitable distribution, the money taken from the joint account represents marital funds. The columnist recommended that the husband contact the bank and discuss how to freeze the wife's account and retrieve the money.

When a person going through a divorce suspects that the former partner is trying to hide money, an attorney might provide guidance. The client might gain advice about how to locate financial documents. An attorney could also pursue full disclosure of accounts and assets by the other party before agreeing to any terms for property division.

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