(Updates with comment from Allen Stanford's lawyer)
By Anna Driver
HOUSTON, May 28 (Reuters) - Allen Stanford's estranged wife asked a federal court to allow her to intervene in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's $8.5 billion civil fraud action against her husband, arguing she has a right to half his property and needs to get on with her life.
Susan Stanford, who sued for divorce in November 2007 after 32 years of marriage, made the request in papers filed by her lawyer on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dallas.
The divorce proceedings have been derailed by a February court order giving the receiver in the case broad powers to freeze and seize Allen Stanford's assets, the court filing said.
"Susan Stanford has a right to protect her property and get on with her life," the filing said. "The Stanfords' divorce is yet to be finalized, and in fact, may not be finalized by virtue of the receivership order by this court."
Under Texas law, Susan Stanford is entitled to 50 percent of the property being seized and sold, the filing said.
Allen Stanford, two executives and three of his companies have been accused by the SEC of fraudulently selling high-yield certificates of deposit issued by Stanford's bank in Antigua.
"Though Allen and Susan have been separated for over a decade and have their differences with each other, Allen Stanford supports Susan's efforts to oppose the SEC's destruction of their marital estate," Dick DeGuerin, Stanford's lawyer, wrote in an email.
Allen Stanford has been living with his girlfriend in Virginia.
In the divorce filings in state court in Texas, Susan Stanford asked the court to award her "exclusive use and control" of two Mercedes, a Porsche Boxster and a home in Houston's upscale Tanglewood neighborhood.
She also asked the state court to grant her access to community assets including Stanford's estates in Antigua and St. Croix and all jets and yachts. (Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)