This week I’m in North Carolina at a Haven House Retreat with Lysa Terkeurst and team. Prayers appreciated.
Question: I am not sure what to do currently. To make a long story short, there was fraud on mine and husband’s bank accounts. He was told by the bank to close and open new accounts but the thing is, he hasn't added me to them. I have told him several times through texting that I need to be added to the accounts since we don't talk on the phone at all lately. When I say I need to be added to the accounts there isn't a response back and I have expressed my feelings about it too. He will be gone for close to another year and was gone the previous year. We have kids and this is just not sitting well with me. About 1.5 years ago we had gotten into a heated discussion/talk/yelling and he said he was going to throw me outside. I had connected with a phone counselor soon after because I knew that I never would want that to happen again, but nothing really got resolved. Besides, the counselor suggested we forgive each other and move forward. That was not enough for me. My husband did seem to make some small changes but nothing that has left me feeling like trust was back at all. How do I move forward with this?
Answer: Thank you for reaching out. I’m sorry for your confusion and suffering. As I read your question, it seems at first glance that you and your husband are separated. But reading it again it also may be that your husband works in a location away from the family. Perhaps as a contract worker somewhere or he is in the military. You say he will be gone for close to a year and was already gone a year. You have children together. So perhaps you are not separated maritally but living separate for work reasons. That is unclear to me.
First, your problem is not just a marital one, it’s a legal issue for you get more information about. I am not a lawyer, so I recommend you get advice from your bank as well schedule as consultation from an attorney and perhaps CPA for expert guidance.
Here's my concern: Is your husband telling the truth or was this just a made up story to change your access to the account? Have you had reason to mistrust him financially in the past? You have every right to be concerned, not only because it’s wrong, but because he resides in an overseas location for long periods of time. This leaves you in a vulnerable situation and your conversations with him have fallen on deaf ears. Is that something new or is this a pattern? Has he been providing for you and the children financially in some way even though you do not have access?
My best advice based on the limited information I have is to find out what rights you have to access marital finances? Truthful information can be empowering. I’d visit with the bank to investigate the allegation of fraud. What kind of fraud? Why were you not notified? It it legal for him to be able to close a joint account and open an account in his name only? I’d also run a credit check on your joint account and credit cards, to see if there is any other fraud or spending going on that you are unaware of. Once you get that information gathered, I’d consult with an attorney, and if necessary. a forensic accountant to see if there is anything more you need to do or what legal rights do you have to financially protect yourself and support your children.
Friend, if you’ve been in this situation before, what has helped you figure out your next right steps forward?
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