Can I Keep Assets Held in a Separate Bank Account in a Divorce?

person putting coins in blue piggy bank

Going through a divorce can be confusing. Unfortunately, you may find that there are many factors you must take into consideration, such as how you will divide any businesses you share, rental properties, and custody of your children. However, one thing many have misconceptions about is their bank account. It’s assumed that money deposited in a separate bank account during the marriage will remain separate property. However, this is not the truth. If going through a divorce, you’ll want to keep reading to learn what you can expect to happen to your bank accounts. You’ll also discover how a Los Angeles division of assets attorney can assist you with any challenges you may face during this process.

If I Deposit Funds Into a Separate Bank Account, Will That Protect My Money?

If you deposit your paycheck or investments into a separate bank account, you may assume these funds are protected as separate property since you are not commingling your funds in a joint account. However, this is not true. California, like other states, classifies any assets obtained during the marriage as community property.

The only way for money deposited into a bank account to be classified as separate property is if you are depositing an inheritance or gift, so long as it is in the sole name of the spouse it’s intended for.

It’s important to understand that California is a community property state. As such, any assets deemed marital property, including bank accounts with funds earned during the marriage, are subject to equal distribution between both spouses.

How Can I Protect My Finances?

If you’re worried about what will happen to your funds during a divorce, the most crucial thing you can do is establish a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This is a legally binding document that details how you and your spouse will separate funds in the event of a divorce. However, you must create a prenuptial agreement before you are legally married. If you are already married, you can create a postnuptial agreement.

Many spouses believe they can deposit funds into a secret bank account to keep what they see as theirs in the event of a divorce. However, if you hide bank accounts during the divorce process, you may be penalized as a result. As such, it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney to help ensure you’ve listed all assets to avoid facing penalties for hiding accounts.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, our experienced divorce attorneys can assist you during these challenging times. We understand that you not only have to deal with the legal complexities, but the emotional challenges of going through a divorce. As such, we are here to help you handle any complications that may arise so you can focus on healing. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these times.

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