What to Do if Your Spouse Cuts You Off

If there’s one thing about divorce, it can complicate one’s finances, especially when you’ve been relying on your soon-to-be ex’s income and assets for some time. Although it’s callous and deceitful, some bitter spouses will go to great lengths to cut their spouses off financially, even before the divorce papers are filed.

If you’re underemployed or unemployed and your spouse has removed you as an authorized user on the credit cards and is refusing to give you a dime, we urge you to contact our firm to speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. We know your rights under California law and may be able to help relieve your financial distress.

Are You a Dependent Spouse?

During your marriage, did you give up your career to raise the children or take care of your spouse and the home? Or, did you work to put your spouse through school so they could significantly increase their earning potential, only for you to end up staying home after your spouse built a successful career?

If at some point during your marriage you ended up depending on your husband or wife, you may be what’s called the “dependent spouse.” And, now that divorce is on the horizon, you’re faced with losing that support and having to start your life all over from scratch. Perhaps, you have zero resources to speak of. You’re unemployed and you don’t have any assets, like real estate or bank accounts with your name on them.

Petitioning for Temporary Orders

If your spouse has cut you off, you may be in a panic thinking, “Where am I going to live? How am I going to pay for my basic necessities? Will I end up with nothing because I haven’t been working? If you are not getting access to the funds you need to meet your family’s needs, we can petition the family court for temporary spousal support orders and where applicable, temporary orders for child support.

When there is a dependent spouse, especially one who’s been a stay-at-home mom or dad or homemaker, we can file a divorce action and ask the court for temporary orders. This way, the dependent spouse isn’t left penniless because their spouse cut them off.

California considers a number of factors when deciding to issue orders for spousal support, including:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • The individual assets of each spouse.
  • Each spouse’s income and earning capacity.
  • Contributions as a homemaker (the dependent spouse).
  • The age and health of both spouses.
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

While you may be entitled to temporary orders for spousal or child support, or both, we cannot say how long they will last. It all depends on the facts of your case. If you’re able, it may be best that you start looking for work, but again, it depends on your circumstances. Regardless of your personal situation, we will look out for your best interests and help you work towards a favorable outcome.

To meet with a board-certified San Fernando divorce lawyer, contact Cutter & Lax today. We look forward to helping you.