Please I havent slept all night - I've been separated for 3 years in March and during all of this time we've maintained our joint account that has been for my sole use only. The overdraft needs to be at zero for us to be able to close the account or remove his name, and neither of us can afford to pay it off.
Statements, and activity on the account for the last 3 years will prove it is purely used by me.
Yesterday I moved enough money across from my personal account to cover my mortgage and all other bills. Last night he stole a substantial amount from it - transferring it into his own personal account.
Legally he hasnt done anything wrong because his name is on the account - but there must be something I can do?
I havent slept for worrying - I'm crying as I type this - I cant afford food, school shoes or the like now, because I'll need to use that money to cover my bills. He refuses to put it back, saying that we havent agreed what he pays me legally, he's sick of paying me what he does, and there's nothing I can do about it. I've asked him to put it back, and not to force me to take action so that it escalates into something neither of us wants or can afford. He just tells me to "take action - I dont care"
Has anyone had to go through a similar situation - if so what did you do? Can you offer me any advice?
I intend to have all debits from the joint account moved to my personal account this morning, call my solicitor and get a thingy order on his salary incase my maintenance is going to be his next move, and other than that - I'm stumped. Oh, and I cant get an increase on any overdrafts, or borrow - my credit rating is rubbish.
This sounds awful. I haven't been in such a situation but I think you're right that talking to the bank and your solicitor is the first thing to do. It's probably a good idea to write down what happened and what you want to do and know straight away. It's easy to get upset when talking to people and lose track of what you're saying.
I expect banks and solicitors will know what you can and can't do in this situation.
Incidentally, do you have anything in writing that shows the joint account was maintained for your use only? I know it's unlikely but it might just be useful as evidence.
You might also see if you are entitled to any benefits including emergency payments. I expect it's worth talking to the mortgage people as well - they're more likely to be helpful if they know what's going on.
I hope people with more knowledge of the law can offer you further advice.
I'm sorry you're having such a rotten time and hope the situation turns out to be better than it seems now. Meanwhile, I'm sure you will get through this even if it does take time.
I second all the above plus my local Woolwich cum Barclays branch agreed to put a note on our joint account that 2 signatories were required to withdraw cash. Maybe you think it's too late now, but you never know...
I have just spoken to a colleague and you are right that he has done nothing illegal, ‘i.e. his name is on the account and you can’t steal your own money’ however as you are jointly responsible for the debt of the overdraft you may seek redress through your solicitor later, I know it’s small consolation at the moment but to echo Athene, even if you have nothing much in the way of evidence yet, write everything down that you can about conversations and any texts to and from your ex, make sure you date, time and sign it as that will be significantly more robust in any legal proceedings.
Hi Onelife. I am sorry that this has happned to you. But to be honest you took a big risk sharing an account with someone you are divorcing. Problem is you are to trusting.
If I were you I would report the matter to the police. Although its a joint accont you said that you used it solely. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose. In the mean time get yourself a new account in your sole name.
For what its worth. I had a joint account with my ex. I was told that I had to keep it that way. I waited until the last possible moment and transfered out all the money that was mine. For months and months I had all my money in a joint account with her and I was cacking myself that she would take it. But she didnt. I was under no ilusion that as soon as I left it would have been plundered. Chris.
I called the bank yesterday, and the account is now in dispute, which means neither of us can touch it without the others consent and all direct debits are immediately cancelled as a result. I'll have to reinstate them to go from my own account. I am hoping that if I explain my situation the various companies will allow me to skip this month completely and spread the cost over the next few months. I have an appointment with the bank this morning to see if I can get any sort of help from them so I can feed us all this month.
I have an appointment with my solicitor on Tuesday to decide what needs to be done.
After seeing the amount he had taken, I moved the remaining available funds back into my personal account to prevent him coming back for more, stayed up until midnight, watched the mortgage go out and plunge me into the red then moved back the exact amount needed so that the debit would not be returned, leaving the account with no further available funds for him to steal. I had to use my food money, petrol money, other funds etc to cover what he had taken.
I had to make sure the mortgage is paid because its looking very likely I may need to take a payment holiday, and they wont allow you to do that if you miss a payment or become in arrears.
I have taken athenes advice and written a full account to give my solicitor and have saved all text messages. I have tried reasoning with him - telling him that if he doesnt give me the money back that the situation will escalate into something neither of us wants, or can afford for that matter, because I will retaliate - be sensible, dont allow it to get any more miserable, uglier, bitter or costly etc - he just replies "I dont care anymore".
When I ask how he proposes I feed his children now this month he replies "that's it, play the emotional blackmail card, first you said it was for the mortgage now you say you need it to feed the kids, make your mind up". It beggars belief. How does he think I paid the mortgage? Which incidentally is also in joint names.
I also think I do have something written somewhere where he acknowledges that the account is for my sole use only. It comes across in the text messages as well that he recognises that. I only hope that if we end up in court that his actions help my case.
Ironically - the day he did it would have been our 20th wedding anniversary.
God I've gone on. Sorry. Thanks for all your support everyone.