Can I Keep Funds Held in a Separate Bank Account During a New York Divorce?

putting coin into blue piggy bank

When going through a divorce, you may not fully understand what property and assets can be at risk of division. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes people make is assuming that any money they deposit in a separate bank account will remain separate property when assets are distributed during a divorce. As such, many severely underestimate how much money they will have when the divorce process is over. If you are unfamiliar with how asset distribution works when you have funds in a separate bank account, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll discover how a Nassau County property distribution lawyer can assist you through any challenges you may face during this process.

If I Deposit Funds into a Separate Bank Account, Can I Keep Them?

Many assume that as long as they deposit funds into a bank account solely in their name, the assets inside will not be divided during a divorce. However, in most instances, this is incorrect.

In New York, any assets obtained during the course of a marriage are considered community property. Even if they are held in a separate account, any paycheck or other investments earned during a marriage and deposited into a bank account in one spouse’s name are still deemed marital property. As such, these funds are subject to distribution under New York’s equitable distribution laws.

Marital property in New York is not distributed evenly. Instead, it is based on how much each spouse contributed to the marriage. It’s important to note that financial contributions are not the only factors taken into consideration. The courts will also consider domestic contributions. For example, if one spouse worked full time while the other is a stay-at-home parent, they will likely be deemed equals.

The only time funds deposited into a separate bank account during the marriage will be deemed marital property are inheritances or gifts.

How Can I Protect My Finances During a Divorce?

If you are engaged and wondering what will happen to your finances should you and your future spouse divorce, you may want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. This is a legally binding document that allows you to determine how you and your spouse will handle your assets in the event of a divorce.

However, if you’re already going through a divorce, you may think that hiding this account from your spouse is the best option since you may feel like these are your sole funds. Unfortunately, this can cause additional trouble, as you may be penalized for doing so.

Instead, contacting an experienced divorce attorney from Barrows Levy can help you do everything possible to protect your funds when going through a divorce. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.

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