James R. Schaffer, P.A.

Watch out for marital bank accounts during divorce

| Oct 9, 2020 | Divorce |

Dealing with joint marital property can be a bit overwhelming during a divorce. Whether you are looking at large assets like the marital home or a vehicle, or smaller items like household furnishing, it may feel as if there are hundreds of tiny decisions waiting around every corner.

Marital bank accounts are no exception to this. Indeed, they may even pose additional concerns before Florida couples even reach the property division process.

Examining marital bank accounts

A marital – or joint – bank account is one that is owned by both spouses. The money in the account also belongs to both spouses, regardless of who put money into it and when. Each person’s name will appear on a joint bank account and both will have the right to:

  • Deposit funds
  • Withdraw funds
  • Make decisions about the account

Unfortunately, this means one spouse could choose to withdraw all of the money from an account without the other’s knowledge.

This is usually unwise and not without repercussions. For example, a spouse who drains a joint account could be accused of criminal contempt if there was an injunction on such actions. Injunctions against such actions are usually to make sure that marital assets are divided equitably – meaning fairly – between the two divorcing parties.

Having money on hand is an important part of one’s financial security. Unfortunately, all it takes is one disgruntled ex to make a few reckless decisions with the marital bank accounts to compromise all of that.

It may be a good idea to learn more about protecting the funds in these accounts before or soon after filing for divorce. Speaking with an experienced attorney is an excellent way to learn more about the subject.