The danger of funding a bank account before filing for divorce

| Jan 22, 2021 | Divorce |

When you start to consider divorce, you will likely need help and guidance. It is usually safer to get legal advice from a lawyer than from people you know who have gone through a divorce. Otherwise, you could do something that hurts your position in the upcoming divorce.

Your friends and family members, while well-intentioned, might provide you with bad or even dangerous advice. For example, many people advise those considering divorce to start a bank account in their own name and begin funding that account a little bit at a time.

Having a nest egg that you can rely on when you file for divorce is a good thing, but building a nest egg with marital resources might hurt you as the divorce moves forward. 

You have to disclose your hidden bank account to the courts and your ex

While you can theoretically open up a bank account, fund it with some of your assets and use that account to cover your cost-of-living expenses after you separate from your spouse, you will have to provide the courts and your ex with information about that account. Your ex can probably claim some of its value in the divorce.

A big part of divorce focuses on splitting up your property. You and your spouse have a legal obligation to provide accurate and thorough records of your assets and debts to the courts as part of the process. If you don’t include the bank account you built up as a nest egg, your ex could accuse you of hiding assets.

The family courts can penalize those who intentionally hide property, often by awarding more to their ex in the final property settlement or even by reversing a previous settlement order if the discovery of some hidden assets occurs after the divorce.

Planning before you file is a smart move

While accepting the advice of friends and family members may not be the best idea when considering divorce, the fact that you want to plan ahead can benefit you. Talking with a lawyer before you file any paperwork or broach the topic with your spouse can put you in a situation to better protect yourself and push for an optimal outcome.

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