Can One Take Money from a Joint Bank Account Just Before Filing for Divorce to “Preserve It?”
If you’re preparing to file for divorce, it’s natural to be concerned about how your assets will be split during the divorce process. However, as tempting as it can be to start removing money from accounts and funneling it into a new, separate bank account, you should know that this is an awful idea, and could result in you getting yourself into significant legal trouble.
Here’s what you should know.
Never attempt to hide assets from the divorce process
Every divorce includes a discovery process, during which the spouses are required to submit complete information about all of their owned assets. This includes not just physical assets, but money in accounts, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, stock options and more. You will likely be deposed during this process, meaning you are required to testify under oath about your assets and property. If you lie during this process, you are guilty of committing perjury, a criminal offense.
Not only would you then be subject to whatever punishments a criminal court deems fitting for perjury, but you would also likely be punished in the actual divorce process. The court would have reason to be more favorable in asset distribution to the spouse that did not lie about their assets.
So as tempting as it can be to try to conceal assets that you can stockpile and save for after your divorce, it’s simply not worth the risk.
For more information about the discovery process in divorce and the equitable distribution process, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.