When a couple decides to tie the knot, they often choose to share everything from passwords to bank accounts. To simplify things, many couples keep their funds in a joint bank account so that both parties can easily access the funds to pay bills. Some couples may use a separate account for their savings but keep most of their income in a joint account. However, some couples prefer to keep their money in separate bank accounts. While this may seem like an excellent way to maintain individual ownership of assets, it is imperative to note that just because your spouse’s name is not on the account or their income has not been contributed to the account does not mean it won’t be subject to division as commingled assets are considered marital property. If you are concerned about what may happen to your separate bank accounts during property division, please continue reading and contact a trusted Suffolk County Martial Property Attorney who can help you navigate this complex legal process.
Can I keep assets held in a separate bank account in a divorce?
In some marriages, spouses intentionally keep separate bank accounts to maintain financial independence throughout their marriage, hoping that the funds will remain solely their property in the event of a divorce. However, contrary to what some couples may believe, even if their spouse’s name is not on the account and their money has never been deposited, it could still be considered marital property. Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed to receive all the funds in the account as your assets may be commingled. Whether you can keep assets in a separate bank account depends on whether the funds have been commingled.
When are they considered separate property?
When assets are divided in a divorce, they are split fairly, not equally, between each party. Marital property, any assets acquired during the marriage, are subject to division. Assets acquired outside of the marriage are considered separate property and not subject to division. Therefore, if a bank account was opened or used after marriage, the money could be viewed as marital property due to commingling. Commingling occurs when assets are used by both spouses. Even if the account is only in one spouse’s name and the other didn’t contribute, the money can be used for joint expenses like groceries, bills, and childcare, so both spouses are entitled to a share.
Nonetheless, in some instances, separate bank accounts are considered separate property. This is only the case if the other spouse’s name was never added to the account, none of their income was deposited, no financial gifts bearing both spouse’s names were deposited, and the assets were never commingled.
If you are undergoing a divorce and are unsure of how to divide funds in a separate bank account, it is in your best interest to contact a determined attorney from The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., who can protect your hard-earned assets during the division of assets.