Should I clear out the joint bank accounts before I file for divorce? Will I get in trouble with the divorce judge later on? A joint bank account is a bank account that a married couple shares and they both add to and take money out of throughout the course of the marriage. Both of the spouses have an equal right to the money, this is why joint bank accounts are a common source of dispute during a divorce.
Generally it is not a good idea to empty a joint bank account right before you get a divorce. Doing so may lead to a number of complications and consequences later down the road during the divorce in Jefferson County. The money that is in a joint bank account is considered marital property in which both spouses have an equal right to. If you go and pull all of the money out of the account without consulting your spouse, it is obvious that there will be a disagreement.
If you empty your joint account without discussing it with your spouse first, there will be many consequences. The main reason for these consequences is that marital property is generally split equally between both spouses in the event of an uncontested divorce. If you empty a bank account that you and your spouse have both contributed money to, and both have equal rights to, the judge will most likely issue fines on you. The judge will also award half of the amount that you pulled out of the joint bank account back to your spouse. This may take the form of the judge awarding the other spouse property that is equal to the dollar amount that they withdrew from the joint bank account and in some cases the judge may order you to pay your spouses attorneys fees. While it may seem like a way to ensure that you are entitled to keep a percentage of your money from a Birmingham divorce, emptying a joint bank account is not a good idea and it may actually end up costing you way more in the end.
In conclusion you should not clear out the joint bank account before a divorce. It is not going to make your spouse happy and certainly will not make the divorce judge happy. If you believe that you are entitled to a certain amount of money from the joint bank account, you are better off to prove why you are entitled to the money in court. If you are considering a divorce and are worried about the money that you share with your spouse in a joint bank account, you should reach out to an experienced divorce attorney in Bessemer to ensure that you get the money that you believe you are entitled to.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!