Divorce Bank Account Questions in Arizona

divorce bank account questionsWhen it comes to going through a divorce, we know that you would rather just have it over with. Unfortunately, there are many different things to sort through, particularly for marriages that have lasted for a while. A knowledgeable and experienced Arizona family law attorney will understand that this is a difficult time and work to ensure you are treated fairly.

Today, we want to discuss something we hear about all the time – separate bank accounts and marriage.

Traditionally, most couples opted for joint accounts after marriage. Well, times have changed, and the Millennials are in charge now. Okay, not really, but they are doing things differently. Let’s get into their marriage banking habits and see if they have an outcome on divorce.

How are Millennials doing things differently?

According to a Bank of America survey, 28% of Millennials are choosing to retain their bank accounts separate after they get married rather than convert to a traditional joint bank account. BoA says that this is double the number of Gen X and baby boomers who opted for a traditional banking route after marriage.

Why is this the case?

It is well-known that Millennials like to use apps such as Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal. All of these apps make it easier than ever to keep things separate and pay your spouse or friends on the spot.

A CNBC article also says that the choice to keep bank accounts separate may be made because younger generations have seen first-hand how hard it can be to divide assets during a divorce.

“We are separate in our finances and we’re planning to keep it that way once we get married,” said Elizabeth Bracher, a young woman in Ohio. Both she and her partner are children of divorced parents.

Keeping separate accounts will not protect your money

Arizona is a community property state. This means that any asset or debt that is acquired after a marriage is considered both spouses’ property. Even if your name is on the account (or the house or car), it belongs to both of you if it was acquired after the marriage. All of the following will be divided equally in the event of a divorce:

  • The marital home
  • Other homes purchased
  • Any other property
  • Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Vehicles, RVs, and boats
  • Furniture, artwork, collectibles

Please do not forget the debts. These will become the responsibility of both parties:

  • Tax debt
  • Personal loans
  • Installment loans
  • Automobile loans
  • Student loans
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages

Click here for an article on credit debt and divorce in Arizona.

How can I protect my assets during a divorce?

The easiest way to get protection is to get a prenuptial agreement. If you are entering into your marriage with a significant amount of assets you want to protect, a prenup may be your best option. Please know that your prenup does not have to stay the same for the entirety of the marriage. You can modify it later on and even get it nullified down the line.

What you can do moving forward

We know that nobody gets into a marriage thinking that it will end in divorce. However, you should consider seeking help from a qualified Arizona family law attorney if you are going through a separation. Aside from the asset division mentioned above, there are many other issues that need to be settled before a divorce can be finalized. This can include child support and custody, visitation, alimony payments, and more. You need to have a qualified and experienced attorney by your side who will ensure you are treated fairly at all times.