Can I Keep Assets Held In a Separate Bank Account In a Divorce?

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You can keep some of your money in a separate bank account if you are getting a divorce. What you should not expect is that you will automatically get to keep that money. When assets are divided up in a divorce, what can be seen as marital property that needs to be distributed to both spouses might surprise you. You should ask a Suffolk County property distribution lawyer for advice if your goal is protecting your own assets.

When is a Separate Bank Account Actually Separate?

A separate bank account can still be considered a marital asset even if only your name is on it. In order to be truly separate, your account usually has to be established before the marriage begins. On top of that, it can not have deposits of money that would be considered marital or community property.

If you take money that was just for you, like a gift or inheritance, and deposit it into this separate bank account, that should be fine. However, if you take a gift that was meant for you and your spouse and deposit it, like a check with both of your names on it, that account is going to be considered marital property. This is true even if your name is the only one on the account. You have officially commingled your money.

What If I Deposit Income Into a Separate Bank Account?

So depositing a shared gift into a separate bank account is not allowed, but what about income? That is money that you earned, so it should be yours.

That is not how marriage works though. When you earn income while married, it is considered marital property. It is the same with any other earned asset, like new property or the appreciation of investments. So even if it is your income, putting it in that separate bank account actually counts as commingling your money. That account could now be subject to distribution in a divorce.

Can Having a Separate Bank Account Make Me Look Bad During the Divorce Process?

Despite all of the complications, it can still be a good idea to have your own bank account during the divorce process. As long as you are transparent and it does not look like you are trying to hide funds, then this should not reflect poorly on you as your assets are divided up.

However, if you do pull any shady moves you can be sure that the court will count that against you. A good example of this is draining the joint account and putting that money into your own account, leaving your spouse with nothing. If you do anything like that, you can be sure that you will pay for it later.

Talk to Our Legal Team

If you want to learn more about the property distribution process and how our team can help you fight for the best possible outcome, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. We would love to set up a consultation and take a closer look at your situation. We are ready to do everything that we can to help you in this difficult time.

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