When an action for divorce is started, many times one spouse discovers that their partner has taken significant money from the joint bank accounts. This does not mean you are not entitled to your portion. The question really is when and how you will receive your share.
First, realize that you are entitled to half of the money and the other half does belong to your spouse. There are exceptions to this rule but generally, half of the money does belong to your spouse. Before running into court, simply ask for your share back. It is the quickest and most economical method.
Second, he or she can speak to your spouse’s attorney. If you spouse still refuses to return your share, then you can bring the issue up with the Court. The goal here is to have an agreement ordered by the court which will return your half of the money. If all the above fails and you are forced into a trial, the Judge will ultimately decide how the money is distributed.
For the spouse that took the money, realize that all things being equal, half of that money does belong to your spouse. If you honestly believe that you must take the money understand that at some point you will need to account for it. You might consider putting half immediately back to save time and the expense of attorneys getting involved for something that can easily be resolved. Forcing the court to order you to put it back may not be in your long-term best interests.
Divorce is hard enough, try to limit the issues that absolutely cannot be resolved.