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Will separate accounts protect my money in the divorce?

| Jun 8, 2020 | Divorce |

“The account is in my name, so it’s mine.” When it comes to divorce, a Maryland resident may be entitled to part of the assets that are held in the spouse’s name, or vice versa. While the trend toward separate bank accounts may assist with minimizing financial disagreements throughout the marriage, these separate accounts may be considered marital property in the divorce.

Many couples are choosing to have their earnings deposited into separate accounts and then either paying household bills through a joint account or by splitting the bills with each other. This approach can be beneficial for couples who have different financial personalities. By keeping part of their finances separate, each individual may feel less financially encumbered by the other.

Even though Maryland is an equitable distribution state, this does not mean that just because an asset or bank account is titled in one person’s name part of it will not be shared with the other spouse. In determining a property distribution settlement, the courts will look at what it considers to be a fair division of the assets. There are a number of factors that will be considered in making this determination.

There are several great reasons for maintaining separate accounts. Perhaps one of the most important is to have readily available liquid assets in case things do not work out and a Maryland couple does decide to divorce. With a joint account, the other spouse can make it difficult for the individual to access needed funds. By having readily available cash, an individual can continue to pay his or her bills. Separate accounts do have their benefits; just do not assume that because they are separate, they are separated from the divorce settlement.

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