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Why a separate bank account doesn’t save divorce assets

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2021 | Divorce & High Asset Divorce |

When spouses get divorced, they naturally wonder how to protect their assets and their interests. Connecticut is an equitable distribution state. A divorcing spouse needs to identify marital assets and argue for fair distribution based on the law. Many spouses wonder if having a separate bank account can help them shield assets from the marital estate. In most cases, the answer is no.

Separate bank accounts are marital property

Generally, a separate bank account is a marital asset in a Connecticut divorce. Even if there is only one person’s name on the account, it is still subject to asset division. Any property or money that comes to either one of the parties during the marriage is generally marital property. Therefore, if either party earns the money during the marriage, and it goes into a separate bank account, it’s still a marital asset and part of divorce proceedings.

Determining marital assets in divorce

Whether property is part of the marital estate depends on how the parties come to have the assets rather than whose name is on the asset. Even a home can be jointly owned and subject to division in divorce even if it’s only in one person’s name and even if one person pays the mortgage from income they earn. It is possible for some assets to remain separate property, for example when an asset is owned before marriage and is not maintained by marital funds.

Protecting assets in divorce

If a party is concerned about protecting assets in divorce, there are a number of things that they can do. A party may petition the court in order to get a restraining order that freezes marital assets. In addition, banking records allow a spouse to document funds in the account and track spending. With these records, the party can argue for equitable distribution. Understanding how the courts treat separate bank accounts can help you plan for divorce and plan for the future.