In today’s society, maintaining separate bank accounts is common among couples who want to retain financial independence while sharing their lives. However, it is imperative to understand that these accounts may not be legally recognized as separate property. In the event of a divorce, this poses a significant problem as your spouse may be entitled to receive a share of your separate funds. If you are going through a divorce and unsure how a separate bank account will be handled during the division of assets, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Nassau County Property Distribution Lawyer who can help you safeguard your hard-earned assets. Please continue reading to learn how separate bank accounts may be handled during property distribution.
Will a separate bank account protect my assets during a divorce?
There is a common misconception that funds held in separate accounts are protected during property distribution because they belong solely to one spouse. However, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, you cannot be guaranteed to receive all or any of the assets held in a separate account. Even if your spouse did not contribute in any way to the account and their name is not associated with it, this does not necessarily indicate that the funds solely belong to you.
In a marriage, spouses often pool their finances to contribute toward shared expenses such as groceries, bills, childcare, and other related costs. Thus, funds held in separate accounts may be considered marital property due to commingling. Commingling occurs when assets are used by both spouses. Ultimately, commingled assets are separate and marital assets that have been mixed throughout a marriage. Commingled assets are subject to division. Therefore, separate bank accounts do not guarantee that your separate funds are protected during the division of assets.
When are bank accounts considered separate property?
In some cases, separate bank accounts can be classified as separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. However, this is only the case if the assets in the account have never been commingled. Essentially, no money acquired during the marriage, nor your spouse’s name was added to the account during the marriage. Additionally, no financial gifts bearing both spouse’s names were deposited in the account. Under these circumstances, the funds in a separate bank account would not be subject to division.
If you are undergoing a divorce and are worried about what will happen to your separate bank accounts during property division, contact a knowledgeable Nassau County property distribution lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C., who can help protect your well-deserved assets. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.