Many married couples open joint bank accounts to easily access shared funds to pay their bills and other expenses. However, some couples may keep their money in separate bank accounts. This is often done to ensure they retain ownership of their separate funds. Unfortunately, when divorcing, there is no guarantee that assets held in a separate bank account will be exempt from property division as they may be considered commingled. If you want to safeguard your separate funds, it is in your best interest to contact our trusted Monmouth County Division of Assets Attorneys, who can help you understand your legal options. In addition, please continue reading to learn how your separate bank accounts may be split during the division of assets.
Can I keep assets held in a separate bank account in a New Jersey divorce?
As mentioned above, in some marriages, spouses keep separate bank accounts to maintain financial independence during their marriage. However, contrary to what couples may believe, even if their spouse’s name is not listed on the account and their income has never been deposited, it could still be considered marital property. Therefore, even if you keep your assets in a separate bank account, there is no guarantee that you will receive all the funds during property distribution. Whether you can keep the assets in a separate bank account depends on whether they have been deemed commingled assets.
The funds would be viewed as marital property if a separate bank account were opened or used during the marriage. This is because when both spouses use assets, they are considered commingled. The funds can be used for joint expenses despite your spouse’s name not being on the account or their assets not contributing. As such, both spouses are entitled to an interest in it, meaning it will be divided equitably between divorcing couples as equitable distribution principles govern New Jersey.
When are they considered separate property?
Fortunately, in some instances, a separate bank account can be considered separate property, meaning it will not be subject to division. This is the case if the other spouse’s name was never added to the account, no financial gifts bearing both spouse’s names were deposited, none of their income was contributed, and the assets were never commingled. If assets were commingled, they would be subject to division as they are considered marital property.
If you are going through a divorce, contact a determined Monmouth County division of assets attorney from Paone Zaleski & Murphy, who can help you protect your separate funds during property division in New Jersey. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.