Is it legal for my husband to leave his pregnant wife and two kids with no way to pay the bills?

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Is it legal for my husband to leave his pregnant wife and two kids with no way to pay the bills?

My husband has recently left our home and has changed the bank accounts and took the money that was left in them. Additionally, he told me starting next month I will not receive child support.I have no job and 2 kids by him, plus one on the way.

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A husband can leave his family and decide to get out of a marriage at any time.  If banking accounts are joint accounts, then both spouses have equal access to keep or remove any funds from those accounts.  With that said, however, he doesn't get to ditch his duty to support his children.  To obtain temporary child support, you need to either file for divorce or file a suit affecting parent child relationship (SAPCR).  Usually they are combined together.  You need to consult with a family law attorney.  If funds are a major issue, consider contacting a legal aid organization in your area.  If you file for benefits, like food stamps, then the Attorney General will most likely get involved and file the SAPCR to force him to reimburse the State for helping support his kids... and they usually order child support to mom at the same time.  So... there's more than one approach you can take, but you really need to move quickly so that you and your kids don't go without adequate support for an extended period of time.


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