How Soon in Divorce Should I Separate Bank Accounts? – Kristin from Indianapolis
This answer is actually very simple and easy to answer. I would say, you can separate bank accounts immediately in divorce. A good footing to make a new start, separate bank accounts is also important for essential components of divorce. From a lending perspective, in divorce, many things depend on separate bank accounts. Maintenance, for example, needs be deposited into an individual account without the name of the payee. If it goes into a joint account, it voids the ability to build the necessary history to use the income. For credit, many clients I see have not established the credit they need to qualify for a loan.
But, When Should You Move Money to This New Account?
However, the follow up question gets complicated. When should you move money or direct deposits to this new account? When you open an account only in your name, the money transferred or deposited to that account does not become just yours. In most cases, money earned even while separated is still a marital asset. The same goes for money that may have been in a joint account – it is still marital money. This doesn’t mean you can’t move money to your new account or that you shouldn’t change your direct deposit. What it does mean is that keeping a good record of money earned and spent during this time is extremely important. It’s also best to disclose any accounts opened on your affidavit also known as written legal declaration. If you have an attorney, this is definitely something you would want to discuss with them.
It is not uncommon to navigate the in between time – you are working towards divorce but aren’t there yet. In this case, it is common each person has an individual account but also a joint account to pay joint expenses out of. It takes time to figure out finances that have become interwoven, and it is a process rather than something that happens overnight. Opening accounts in just your name is a good start, but it is often just the beginning of the untangling.
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