Opening and Closing Accounts During Your Divorce
One of the most important steps to take before you file for divorce is to create a full inventory of all your personal and joint accounts. This includes accounts with banks, credit unions, credit cards, brokerages and lending institutions. Included with this list should be the following
- All account numbers
- Whether the account is listed in your name, your spouse’s name or both
- The balances in those accounts
- Phone numbers and addresses for all banks and creditors
- Automatic withdrawals currently scheduled from accounts
- The date you opened the account
- The balance on the account or loan prior to your marriage, if applicable
Putting together this list of accounts can help prevent your spouse from getting away with concealing assets from you once you actually file the divorce paperwork.
It is also a good idea to open a new bank account during your divorce, especially if your spouse has been irresponsible with your marital assets. You should inform your spouse and the court about the new account, but be aware that any income you earn until the divorce is finalized is still considered marital property.
Be very careful about closing out accounts during your divorce. You may close out credit card accounts that do not have a balance, but accounts that are being actively used should remain open. You do not want to give the appearance to the court that you are sabotaging your spouse’s finances. Your best option is to keep track of your balances and your spouse’s spending, and to report any strange withdrawals, charges or purchases to your attorney as soon as possible.
To learn more about how to handle various accounts as you go through the process of dissolving your marriage, meet with a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.