Splitsville Family Law

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Splitsville Family Law

Commingled funds refer to what were once non-marital funds that have become marital funds through comingling. For example, if a spouse has a bank account with $10,000 in it before marriage, and does not deposit or withdraw any marital money during the marriage, it will remain a non-marital asset. However, if those $10,000 were deposited into a joint account, the asset has been commingled and is no longer a separate non-marital asset. This applies to many types of assets, including savings, stocks, and more. There are ways to minimalize the commingling, or to trace the mixing back and divide it. However, once an asset is commingled, it is difficult to argue it is not a marital asset.

How Do I Stop Comingling Of Assets?

Stopping comingling of assets is very simple – you just keep the assets separate. It’s important to note that once the commingling starts, it may not be possible to stop it. So if you have a separate bank account and you bring it into the joint account, it’s commingled, and cannot be undone. In the case of non-marital property, such as a rental property that you’re collecting rents from and using money to improve it, you need to make sure that no marital money or efforts go toward that property.

If you make one mistake and say, bring the rents into the joint account but immediately take it out and put it into the appropriate separate account, you may be able to argue that it was inadvertent and it didn’t create a comingling situation. However, it is extremely difficult to argue against commingling once funds or efforts are taken from a marital account.

Should I Open A Separate Banking Account During A Divorce?

The date when the parties file for divorced is considered the moment that the two spouses begin to live separate financial lives. So when the divorce is filed, whether you open a separate bank account or continue to use the joint bank account is up to you. However, your income and expenses from that filing date forward will be looked at differently by the court, because now the two of you are living separate financial lives. That does not mean that you don’t have a continuing obligation to pay what you traditionally paid. For example, if one spouse traditionally paid the mortgage on the house, they need to continue paying that mortgage, and if the other spouse number traditionally pays the health insurance for the family, they need to continue doing so when the divorce is filed. The distinction is that once the divorce is filed, you will each get credit for the portion that applies to you and the portion that applies to the other person. So, depending on your specific circumstances, it may or may not be easier for you to open a separate bank account. Once the divorce is filed, having separate accounts would certainly help to delineate your expenses and your income from your spouse’s income and expenses. But in some families, it’s just not possible, for example, in a family with only one breadwinner. It may not make sense to open separate accounts because then the breadwinner is going to have to not only pay the bills, but also start putting money into a separate account for the spouse to maintain the status quo, and it may be easier to continue with a joint bank account.

Can I Or Should I Empty My Personal Bank Account?

In general, it does not look good when you empty a bank account. Banking records are part of discovery, which is the information that is exchanged between the parties during a divorce, and anything that you do that looks suspicious is going to reflect poorly on you. So, if you want to open a new bank account, empty a bank account, or move money from one bank account to another bank account, it is essential that you tell your spouse what you’re doing, if appropriate.

Do You Generally Have To Show Bank Statements And Credit Cards Throughout The Divorce Process?

Yes. In fact, it is an obligation. When you file for divorce, you are obligated without further request to provide up to one year of bank statements, credit card statements, and all other financial statements, and in fact, you can request even more than that. But the rules that are in place call for one year of exchange of financial information, even without a request from the other party.

Can I Remove My Name From Any Joint Credit Cards, Car Loans, Or Anything Like That Before Or During A Divorce?

When it comes to removing your name from accounts, cards, or loans, it is essential that you communicate with your soon to be ex-spouse about what you’re doing and why you are doing it. At the end of the divorce, everything is going to be divided up and you will no longer have any joint assets or liabilities. It sometimes looks strange if somebody is suddenly taking their names off of things, and it may be better to let that be settled through mediation, by a joint agreement, or by the court rather than you doing it arbitrarily. It’s also important to understand that, when you have joint credit cards during the marriage, removing your name from the account does not in any way relieve you of the liability from that marital credit card. All of the marital assets and debts that are in existence when the divorce is filed are going to remain marital assets and debts, and they are going to be divided up regardless of whether you remove your name from it or not.

Can I Cash My 401k Before We File For Divorce?

You can cash out your 401k before you get divorced, but as soon as the divorce is filed and that is discovered, you are going to owe half of that cash to your ex-spouse. So again, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to do that. But if you do, you will be accountable for giving half of what you cashed out to your spouse.

Is Moving Out Before Or During A Divorce Essentially Giving Up My Property? Can My Spouse Remove My Name From The Deed Mortgage Without My Consent If I Leave?

The primary consideration when moving out of what will eventually be the former residence is your long-term plan for the property. If you know that you are going to be getting a new place of your own anyway, there is no downside to moving out and making that happen earlier. Generally speaking, you and your spouse are going to have to continue to maintain the marital residence as well as the new residence that you are moving into. Moving out of the marital residence does not in any way give up your rights to the property. The spouse that remains in the residence does not have the ability to take your name off of anything. The house or the equity in the house and the mortgage are marital assets and liabilities that will be divided up during the course of the divorce, regardless of whether you are living in the house or not. Therefore, you are not giving up any rights or responsibilities by moving out of the house before or during the divorce. If it’s your goal to stay in the house and pay for the house, it might make more sense to ask the other spouse to move out. Now, if both of you are fighting to keep the house, then that’s a different issue. But again, moving out of the house does not give up any of your rights to the house or the equity in the house.

For more information on Commingling of Assets, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 928-9995 today.

Lieber Law Group, P.A.

Call Now To See How Can I Help You!
(954) 928-9995