Can I Empty My Bank Account Before My Divorce?

It is natural for every person to protect themselves during a divorce. Some fears are if you will have access to your money or not. Fears that you will not have money to live on are also common. The person may also get angry if their spouse spots the “one red hot cent.” But you should not hurry before you move into an empty bank account because if you choose the wrong way, you will face severe consequences. Reaching out to a Tacoma Divorce Attorney can help you with your financial problems after divorce.

Can I empty my bank account before my divorce?

  • Your personal bank account

The amount of money you earn and are acquired in your personal bank account is also a part of your marital property, but you can use the bank account normally throughout the divorce process.

If you had a separate bank account all this time, then your financial masters can be less complicated. You will still have to figure out who is responsible for paying bills while divorce negotiations occur.

  • Joint bank accounts

Every penny you have in your joint bank account is undisputed marital property which means your spouse can ask for at least half of it when the divorce occurs. But does it mean that you can withdraw all of the money from the bank account? Yes, but not so fast. Before you do any withdrawings, contact your lawyer first. Although there is not any penalty for withdrawing money, you should at least consult with your lawyer.

It is recommended to use the joint account for paying for necessities like groceries, rent, utilities, bills, etc. This is usually the case when one spouse work but the other does not. If your spouse and your children rely on your income to survive, you should leave that account alone until any temporary orders come for child and spousal support. 

It is better to open a new account in your name and start depositing all of your money and paychecks. Well, you should not deprive your spouse of all the money. The court will sanction you for this behavior. If you had a separate account from the beginning but always used the joint account for bills and savings, continue using the account until your divorce is finalized. 

  • Other bank accounts

It is advisable not to touch any of your investment, retirement, or other bank accounts until your divorce settlement is finalized. The court will address these accounts in your divorce settlement.

If you withdraw funds from these accounts, you can both deprive yourself of the interest income you get, and also, it may seem like you are trying to deprive your spouse of assets.