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A Question of Legality Post your legal questions here (general, nothing of a personal nature)

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Old 03-12-2019, 03:01 PM   #1
Mr_ Black
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Default ATM withdrawals during no fault divorce

Fellow mongers, need some input from any that either are well versed with the law or through experience.

Iím currently in the process of proceedings to have a no fault divorce. Since Texas is a community property state i have to fill out an inventory form to list all assets and liabilities. What Iím worried about is how are the ATM withdrawals viewed with respect to calculating assets to be divided?

Concerned this may raise red flags to where my wifeís lawyer can get me for marital waste and I have to give up more assets to her (considering Iím the bread winner but she does work and I paid 90% of all bills).

In addition Iím wondering if the ATM withdrawals will be investigated further ( to figure out what it was used for)?

Thanks fellas..
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:23 PM   #2
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Well I have an educational background in divorce law specifically, the first question would be just how much were you withdrawing, second do you have reasonable explanation or an excuse for it that is plausible, third, does your soon to be ex wife have motive to mention atm withdrawals? Gambling addiction is always a great excuse if your main priority is to cover up the reason behind your unexplained withdrawals.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleBBW View Post
Well I have an educational background in divorce law specifically, the first question would be just how much were you withdrawing, second do you have reasonable explanation or an excuse for it that is plausible, third, does your soon to be ex wife have motive to mention atm withdrawals? Gambling addiction is always a great excuse if your main priority is to cover up the reason behind your unexplained withdrawals.
Thanks Nicole for your willingness to assist.

So the amount is roughly around 5-7k over the course of the last 12 months. I haven’t had a chance to go through all the statements to have a specific figure but that’s ballpark.

As far as excuses my family constantly hits me up for money and my soon to be ex usually doesn’t approve. Hell my younger brothers owe me 6k currenty.

To your third question I don’t believe she would because I handle the finances so as long as she didn’t have to pay she didn’t care. So not sure she would gain any interest in the withdrawals unless her lawyer brings up the idea.

Not really known to gamble although she knows I trade futures and options on a short term basis so I guess that could be considered gambling.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_ Black View Post
Thanks Nicole for your willingness to assist.

So the amount is roughly around 5-7k over the course of the last 12 months. I haven’t had a chance to go through all the statements to have a specific figure but that’s ballpark.

As far as excuses my family constantly hits me up for money and my soon to be ex usually doesn’t approve. Hell my younger brothers owe me 6k currenty.

To your third question I don’t believe she would because I handle the finances so as long as she didn’t have to pay she didn’t care. So not sure she would gain any interest in the withdrawals unless her lawyer brings up the idea.

Not really known to gamble although she knows I trade futures and options on a short term basis so I guess that could be considered gambling.
There will come a time, probably very soon, when you will need some cash that your ex and your family doesn't know you have. The time to start moving cash away from those close to you is now. If you have not done it yet, it is time to start draining the assets to a place that no one, and I mean no one, else knows about. It still needs to be protected, so the following is suggested:
  1. make up an alies or fake name for renting a storage space. start moving personal items into it that have value: such as guns that can be traded or sold for cash, but you want to keep them. Use your imagination. Keep the stuff locked up and make sure the rent is paid for long term.
  2. Get a safety deposit box at a different bank, where you do not have a bank account with your social security number. Put the excess cash there along with any jewlery: or turn everything into hard gold or silver, and hide that.
  3. Sell whatever is obvious and use the money to pay off all of your bills. You are transfering money, not using it. If you don not pay off your bills, you will likely be stuck with them after the divorce. Unfair to you? Yes, because she will likely be given money based on the assets without the debts. Unfair? Yes, because that is the way the system works in favor of the ladies.
  4. Start demanding repayment of the money due you from your family. You can base this on the fact that you ar going through divorce and despartly need the money to pay your bills because she is taking you to the cleaners (true or not). Is this a lie, well maybe: what has your so called family done to you?
  5. Start living as if you are poor, you can't eat status - it is all show anywy: sell your cars and buy an old reliable junker, put the cash into the hidden reserve, put your expensive clothing into the storage shed and begin to wear OK business clothes, no more showing off and learn to be humble.
It is all a show anyway.

It is time for you to look after yourself. I have seen this happen to too many friends. Guys seem to think that we are obligated to take care of everyone around us even when the guy is taken advantage of. Your wife is gone, you can be nice to her, but it is also time to be fair to yourself. Your family is not being fair to you, try to get your money back, not give them more. It was a loan, not a gift.

This is what is happening to you: understand?
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for insight JR. Will consider doing some of your suggestions although I feel uncomfortable regarding trying to hide assets. I want the divorce over quick and clean, and from my understanding if you try to hide assets that prolongs the process and you can be screwed over royally if caught. My situation is relatively simple in that there are some assets and no kids so should be an easy division of community property and moving on even if I have to give a bit more on my end. I’ll bounce back but can’t say the same for the soon to be ex. Said she plans to quit her job and travel the world for awhile. And then buy an RV and travel around the US. That’s one of the reasons for the divorce. Imo, you do stuff like when you’re retired not in your 20s/30s.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:36 AM   #6
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"Take the money and run" --- Steve Miller
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:26 PM   #7
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Easy, go to your local Wal-Mart/Big Box store and purchase something innocuous you use in every day life. Ask for cash back for an extra 20/40/60...whatever makes sense. Lose the receipt, stash the cash for other "things" you'll need later on.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:37 PM   #8
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Hell, be honest.



Say your wife isn't for shit, so you have been using the money to date and bang broads. Lots of them, sometimes 2 a day and occasionally 2 at once.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:56 PM   #9
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Not sure you are getting legal advice so far, and I am not a lawyer. I've read these threads before (here and elsewhere).


From my friends: there is no such thing as a "no fault" or "easy" divorce. Don't get sucked in otherwise. Be selfish about your $$ and assets beginning now.



Cash back on purchases can still be traced through the businesses...I think...but that is better than straight ATM withdrawals.



See if you can do work for cash - contract work, etc., that might allow you to put it aside for the pending emergency. I had a small stash at my office (lock on the door that was locked if I wasn't in it, lock on the stash box and I had the only key, and it was hidden in a small "dorm" refrigerator). Protects against minor fire and water damage.



Gambling is a good excuse. Be careful though - if asked to give details you need to be able to provide them as if true. Remember, that is one more lie to track.


Legal advice would be better on your car and debts. Yes, you could consolidate debts with one of those plans that gets a reduced debt but a major credit ding. Yes, you could downsize your car. But, at some point you'll be living on your own and need credit or a car (or one for the other). Be careful of the damage that lives past the divorce event. Plus, if you downsize your car, I'd go from a (just saying) 2018 $50,000 vehicle to a 2018 $20,000 vehicle. Keep it current so you have limited repair and replace costs for the near future. And, the overall repair and replace costs are lower when they hit. I got over 200K miles on my last three vehicles, and they were all econo mid-size cars. No trucks with big-ass tires. Track insurance costs of potential options - keep that cheap also. Visit your local repair shop who does your oil change - see about tire and filter costs. Some cars have absurdly expensive residual maintenance costs compared to their peers in the market.


That still leaves the very obvious - you are saving $30K on something very obvious that the ex's attorney can easily find. That attracts attention to your situation even more!


I am guessing that you are posting here because the ATM debt is hobby debt. That I get. If you hunt or golf I'd play up having guns or clubs stolen and replacing them by buying from a friend or co-worker for weekly payments, or paying cash for lessons at either. You'll need someone on the other side of that to vouch for you...and again, you are telling a lie to cover a lie. I get it, though. That's in my hip pocket should I ever need it!


What I noticed in my own life: I do well for myself, really, but could easily downsize my lifestyle if needed. I eat out almost daily - huge expense. Quit buying a drink when I do, and quit stopping for a coffee or soft drink on the way home. Drink water. Carry a reusable container to refill for free where that is possible.



I also used to do contract work on the side - got paid cash for a variety of small, odd jobs that never would make it to my taxes - and used that money for hobbying when I couldn't afford it otherwise. Something to consider.


A lot of "flow of consciousness" here. But, be careful without actual legal advice.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:30 AM   #10
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Appreciate the input everyone. After discussing things with my lawyer, she stated what is considered ďwasteĒ is a bit different under the law. Under the law waste is considered asset destruction for an appreciable asset.

This is the example she gave to explain it. Say you have a house with a leak in it. You ignore fixing it and gets worse. When it is time to sell, the house value dropped from 100k to 70k due to your negligence in fixing the leak. Thus 30k of waste is produced.

When compared to spending habits, marital waste in this regard needs to be substantial sums, ill timed in regards to planned depletion of acounts around the start of the separation/divorce and the burden of gathering evidence.

Based on this I think I should be ok. But Iím still losing half my net worth regardless. Never marrying again thatís for sure.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchanterlingum View Post
Hell, be honest.
Exactly, because every good divorce attorney knows how to analyze bank activity.

For others, not the OP cause it's past history for him, but:
Regular and recurring ATM hits can be claimed to be pocket money spending. However, large hits are something different. Every divorce lawyer wants copies of other parties banking records back a couple years to look for the waste concept. They are looking for patterns and then differences to the patterns.
So pulling a couple hundred a couple times a week consistently could very well be lunch and stop at bar on way home pocket money, even if you spend it elsewhere. Same applies to credit cards. But, don't claim that cash is lunch funds and then have your lunches and bar tabs all over the credit card bill.
And I disagree with the OP's attorney comment on waste. A few years ago we toasted a client's wife cause she was frequently hitting the ATM at a casino, and the judge allowed that to be a "waste" thing.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:30 PM   #12
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I will admit the ATM withdrawals for hobby related purposes is what had me worried. If push comes to shove Iíd be willing to declare it as waste just to get the process moved along. Just want the shit over it. Shit eats up time abd money just to pay someone to go away.

What a fucking system. And they say men rule the world. Ha! In the western world only for the benefit of women. Otherwise these draconian divorce laws in an era where women earn more degrees, have more freedom, have more financial power than previous generations would cease to exist.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:29 AM   #13
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There is no interest in "getting this over quickly." YOU are paying BOTH attorneys hourly. Between them, they plan to get at least 40% out of you.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unique_Carpenter View Post
Exactly, because every good divorce attorney knows how to analyze bank activity.

..... banking records back a couple years to look for the waste concept. They are looking for patterns and then differences to the patterns.
So pulling a couple hundred a couple times a week consistently could very well be lunch and stop at bar on way home pocket money, even if you spend it elsewhere. ......
The point presented by several members is to start avoiding the bank, at least for a portion of your income. Go to cash, and stash the cash, because you may need it. Cash, gold, silver, guns, or anything that you can store that will retain the value paid for it. I wish the hell I had stored some funds in gold that could be traded instead of an IRA that got taxed when I cashed it out. I did save about 75 pounds of silver that I bought for about $4.00/ troy oz.

Try three years back, the same time spand that the IRS looks for when they give you an audit.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:50 PM   #15
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OMG, y'all made this into some freaking conspiracy. All the OP wanted to know was if he was going to have to explain why he regularly withdraws money from the ATM. Quite frankly, it is highly unlikely anyone is going to ask about it. If his wife didn't have an issue with it before they separated, then there isn't a real basis for her to start complaining about it now -UNLESS he starts deviating in his habits. It's his money, meaning it's their money and if he doesn't start trying to hide assets, etc. It will likely go unchecked UNLESS the wife has some inkling that he was diverting marital assets for something like a girlfriend.

If the total amount of cash was only about $500 a month, it is easy to explain that you like to go have a nice steak with some good scotch once a week.
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