Father is keeping check from mother and brother

In reality there is little that can be done at this point. Your father’s salary is still considered a marital asset which should be divided if they are not separated, but if he’s just refusing to help with the bills, then I suggest that your mother do whatever is necessary. If they are not separated then he is still responsible for 1/2 the debt in the marriage also…which means the mortgage, car payments, anything with his name on it.
If your mother and father are still together, then I suggest deciding what options she has of making ends meet, without his help. She should keep records of everything because it may be needed later. I understand her reluctance to use savings to pay the bills but that is sometimes what has to be done. If this money is for your brother’s college then maybe it should be put into something in his name that he can’t touch until he’s 18…then there would be no worry that that money wouldn’t be there when the time comes. Though that doesn’t help with the immediate bills…
If they are separated then his money is his alone unless they have an agreement in place that states what he is supposed to pay.

If your father has cut your mother off financially and there is no way for the two of them to work this out with the assistance of mediators or attorneys, then she can file a lawsuit for divorce from bed and board and ask for spousal support and child support. However, if she has access to funds right now, she should use them until this situation has been resolved. He will need to account to her for the money from his paycheck and his use of those funds.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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My mother and father are not divorced, but their marriage is strained to the highest level. Divorce is eminent. My father has resorted to trying to make everyone suffer by no longer direct depositing his check and keeping it safely hidden in his wallet. There are many bills to pay, and his defense is they have a few thousand in savings my mom can use for bills. These savings are in a CD and she doesn’t want to use them, especially when my brother has college in two years. What can my Dad do and what can’t he do? What can my mom do and what can’t she do? Can he hold his check from her legally? By the way, I am 18 so I don’t expect any handouts in any form from him, but my brother is only 16.