Can I Stop Commingling Assets If I Plan To File for a Divorce?
Prior to filing for a divorce, you and your spouse represent one financial unit. If you decide to open a separate bank account pre-divorce, any money from earnings that you put in that account would continue to be considered a marital asset. For that reason, once it has started there is no way to stop commingling in order to prepare for a divorce.
Is My Spouse Automatically Entitled to Half of Any Savings I May Have Had in Florida, Even If It Is in a Separate Account Only in My Name?
The starting point for all equitable distribution is a fifty-fifty division of assets. That means that a bank account could only maintain its separate quality if it was in your name prior to getting married, if it remained in your name after marriage, and if you never put any money in or took any money out during the intact marriage. If, however, that account was in use during the marriage, with money going in and out, then it is a marital asset and will be divided from the starting point of half and half, regardless of the account being in your name only.
Can I and Should I Open My Own Bank Account During the Divorce?
The time to open your own bank account is when you’re filing the case. Once the divorce petition is filed, you and your spouse begin living legally separate financial lives. However, it is important to understand that both spouses have an obligation to continue to maintain the financial status quo, which means that you must keep paying any bills that have been your responsibility. If you have traditionally handled the car insurance, the mortgage, etc., you cannot stop paying these bills just because you’ve opened a separate account and started putting your income there.
Can My Spouse Empty Our Joint Bank Account Before or During a Divorce?
It is possible for a spouse to remove all of the money from a joint account before or during a divorce, but legally, the spouse will be held accountable for any money they have taken. In court, you can ask the judge to order your spouse to return, at the very least, half of what was taken. If you have a significant amount of money in your joint account and are considering withdrawing some, I advise you to take no more than half.
Can My Spouse Remove Me from Our Joint Account?
If you opened a joint account, then the bank will not allow your spouse to remove you without having you sign off on the removal. And as previously stated, removing one person’s name from the account does not suddenly make that money belong to the other spouse.
The same goes for credit cards. When you have credit cards in the marriage (whether they’re in your name, your spouse’s name, or joint names), any bills and charges run up during the marriage become marital liabilities, which means that calling the credit card company and removing your name from the card does not relieve you of your responsibility for that marital debt.
Do We Have To Pay Household Bills Together During the Divorce?
You do not have to pay the household bills together. However, Florida law requires you to maintain the financial status quo, which means that each spouse is still responsible for paying the bills they have traditionally paid, even after the divorce is filed. If continuing to pay your share of the bills becomes a financial hardship, then you need to explain to the court why you can no longer pay what needs to be paid or go to court for other financial relief. In general, you are expected to pay what you’ve traditionally paid until the divorce is final.
Can I Remove My Name from Joint Credit Cards or Car Liens? Does That Ensure I Will No Longer Be Responsible for That Debt As I Go Through a Divorce?
Removing your name from joint credit cards or car loans will depend on the lender’s policy. Regardless of whether they allow you to remove your name or not, you will still be held at the starting point of 50% liability for any debts accrued on car loans or credit cards during the intact marriage.
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