How to Deal with Financial Threats from Your Spouse


Financial threats your spouse might make in the middle of a Pasadena divorce include:

  • I'd rather go to jail than give you anything.
  • When I'm done with you, you'll lose the kids and end up homeless.
  • You can't take what you can't find.
  • I'll spend it all on legal fees before I give you a cent.

If your spouse is making financial threats, the most important thing you need to remember is that California is a community property state. Anything defined as community property belongs to both of you. That includes your spouse's wages and the items purchased with those wages, even if you never worked outside the home during your marriage. Your spouse can't legally take every cent and leave you with nothing.

Financial threats are about seeking control of an emotionally charged situation. Your spouse is trying to upset you in order to grab the upper hand during the divorce. If you stay calm and don't let the threats get to you, you'll keep your divorce from escalating into an all out war.

In most cases, your spouse's threats are just angry rants. However, if you believe there's a possibility your spouse might be serious about spending community property or hiding assets, you need to discuss this with your lawyer immediately. An Automatic Temporary Restraining Order can be included in your divorce action. This will prevent both of you from selling or transferring property; changing bank accounts; hiding assets; modifying beneficiaries on retirement accounts or life insurance policies; and selling insurance held for your spouse. Your attorney might also recommend hiring a forensic accountant to go over your financial records in search of any signs of dishonest behavior from your spouse.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can answer your questions about community property laws in the state of California and make sure you receive a fair settlement as quickly as possible.