Can a husband financially cut off his wife?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a husband financially cut off his wife?

A friend of mine is in a abusive situation and needs to remove her husband from the home. She let him know this, and he is threatening to stop paying for everything in order to manipulate her into staying there. Is this legal? She has a medical condition and cannot work, she reached out to some women’s shelters and hasn’t received any help. What steps can she take?

Asked on August 8, 2019 under Family Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

She can file for divorce. In the divorce, she can apply for temporary or interim support--that is, that her husband as breadwinner have to keep paying certain bills or expenses for her and provide her money on a monthly basis, typically in an amount that keeps the "status quo" or current lifestyle. This can be done on an "emergent" (think: "urgent or "emergent") basis to get an order quickly. Becasue doing this--applying for temporary or interim support on an emergent basis--can be procedurally complex for a nonlawyer, she is strongly advised to retain an attorney to help you.
She has rights, but she needs to file the divorce case to invoke or protect them; the courts have no power to help you until you bring a case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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