Can my wife press charges against me for using money in her account to pay our bills.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my wife press charges against me for using money in her account to pay our bills.

I paid bills put my wife account.the bills
belong to both of us.and i had them
automaticiaaly had them deducted from the

Asked on June 22, 2016 under Family Law, Maryland


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, any funds obtained during the marriage is considered community property.... so it's not really considered theft if you are accused of stealing something that belongs to the community estate for the benefit of the community.  However, some agencies will still consider it an unauthorized access to someone else's account, especially if there was a reason why your wife had those funds in a separate account.  So... not necessary illegal.  But...if law enforcement deems it illegal, then you have defense.  However, as a best practice, it should be avoided so that you don't even have to tangle with this type of legal issue.
If your wife is refusing to help with bills and you are having to secretly access her account without her authorization, then there are issues with your marriage.  Instead of exposing yourself to liability, get into marriage counseling to figure it out.... or file for divorce and end the marriage.  If your wife has these funds in a separate account and is refusing to help you, she may already be working on an exit strategy... so don't give her ammo to use against you. 

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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