The Best Way to Protect Your Money & Assets in Divorce Is Not Via Separate Bank Accounts
These days, many young people who are interested in getting married are also interested in doing things differently in their marriage, for example, keeping the finances and checking accounts separate. This could be in part because they have seen how difficult it can be to divide assets in the event of divorce, and in addition, many people are aware that certain assets and debts are going to be split “equitably” in states like Florida, and they want to do what they can to stay in control of them.
However, it is very important to note that it is a misconception to assume that simply because it’s only your names on an account or deed, that account or property is only yours. Divorce attorneys are often able to argue that assets that are acquired by either spouse during marriage should be considered “marital” property and thus be subject to division, which means that, in states like Florida, divided fairly. In addition, even with separate property, a judge may find that it should be used to fund a settlement that is fair to both individuals.
That being said, keeping funds in a separate bank account is not completely useless. For example, it allows you to have access to finances if your partner is limiting access to joint funds in the event of divorce. This then provides you with some finances in a crisis situation. Otherwise, if one spouse had all of the control of the bank accounts and credit cards, you may have to go to court to pay for every day expenses, such as household bills.
The Power of the Prenup
There is no question that the best way to protect yourself in the event of a divorce is to put a prenuptial agreement in place. This is the only surefire way to ensure that your assets remain your assets, and more and more people realize every day: prenuptial agreements are increasingly on the rise, especially amongst the millennial generation.
Still, make sure you save all of your own account statements before you marry so that you have a very clear idea of what you brought into the marriage. And perhaps most importantly, if you receive an inheritance, do not commingle that inheritance with your spouse or your spouse’s income or property. For example, do not use your spouse’s income to upgrade or add to that asset. In that case, yes, it could become commingled and subject to division. In a nutshell, the more that you can trace everything, the less trouble you will have claiming it as your own.
Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorney
The dissolution of marriage can be an extremely challenging time in your life. It can be difficult to also keep a handle on protecting yourself in terms of your finances and assets. Contact our experienced West Palm Beach divorce attorney at the office of William Wallshein, P.A. today to find out how we can help ensure that you are protected—before, during, and after marriage.