Separate Bank Accounts is Not a Method for Protecting Assets in a Divorce
More married couples today are opting to forego getting joint bank accounts to keep their finances separate after marriage. There are plenty of pros and cons to either approach, however it is important to note that if your marriage ends in divorce, having separate bank accounts will not protect the assets you place in them, even if you deposit only your paychecks into those accounts.
Here’s a quick overview of what you should know.
Still marital property
Any income earned or assets obtained during the course of the marriage, with exceptions for things such as inheritance or gifts, are technically considered marital assets. It doesn’t matter if you keep your finances separate—the money you earn from your careers during the marriage legally belongs to both of you rather than just one of you.
This means the money placed in those accounts is subject to the asset division process in a divorce. You are required during the discovery phase of the divorce to be completely transparent about any separate accounts you have, and to provide full, accurate information about their contents. A failure to do so can result in some severe consequences, including fines and, in some more egregious cases, jail time.
The only assets other than the exceptions mentioned above that will be completely safe from the asset division process are assets you already owned before entering the marriage, including however much money you had in your account to start with.
For more information about asset distribution, contact a skilled Long Island divorce attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.