Will Your Spouse Receive Funds from Your Separate Bank Account in Florida?
Contrary to popular belief, your name on a bank account does not necessarily mean that the funds are rightfully yours in divorce. Thus, your soon-to-be-ex could be entitled to the funds in your separate bank account during the division of property.
In Florida, it is up to the court judge to determine whether the funds in each spouse’s bank account are joint or separate property. Under Florida’s equitable property distribution rule, the judge starts with a presumption of a 50/50 split and then takes all factors into account to consider a 60/40, 70/30, or another split.
To determine whether your spouse will be entitled to your separate bank account, consult with an Orlando divorce attorney. Here at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, our property distribution lawyers in Orlando will help you protect your assets and separate property.
Is Your Spouse Entitled to Your Separate Bank Account?
Joint property – also known as marital in Florida – is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Marital property is typically divisible by the court.
Separate property, which is owned by each spouse before the marriage or obtained by inheritance or a gift from someone other than one’s spouse, is not split in a divorce. However, just because you hold funds in a separate bank account in your name does not mean that the money will not be divisible during a divorce.
The judge will have to evaluate the source of the funds in your bank account to determine whether the funds are joint or separate property. When separate property is mixed with joint property, the non-marital assets may lose their status as separate property and commingle with marital assets.
However, having a skilled Orlando divorce lawyer by your side, you may be able to prove that a particular item or funds in your bank account are not divisible by tracing the property back to its source through bank statements and other records.
How to Ensure That Your Separate Bank Account Remains Yours After Divorce
To avoid commingling separate and joint property during a divorce, the issue should be addressed before getting married, and certainly before filing divorce papers.
- Prior to getting married, speak with a lawyer to protect your separate property from potentially being split. A good way to address the issue is by creating a prenuptial agreement that would distinguish between marital and non-marital assets and property in the event of a divorce.
- If you have a separate bank account, do not use its funds to pay down marital debt. Thus, if you have a substantial amount of money on your bank account before marriage, do not use these funds to pay down credit card debt or the mortgage.
- If you have a separate account, create another one in the event of marriage so that it becomes a joint account. The funds you earn during the marriage should be deposited into the joint account, while any funds that you had before the wedding in your separate bank account should remain untouched as much as possible.
- Moreover, if you wish to make a purchase that would remain your separate property, you can purchase that item with funds out of your separate account.
Contact an experienced Orlando divorce attorney at Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to protect your separate property and make sure that you are getting what is rightfully yours in a divorce. Call at 407-521-7171.