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Your Bank Accounts and Your Divorce

For many people that come to The Smart Law Group to talk about divorce financial worries are at the forefront.

Because especially if you’ve been married to a controlling spouse, abuser or a narcissist, you may not have control over your share, or even your own personal finances.

So safeguarding your financial well-being becomes as crucial as addressing the emotional and legal facets of the separation.

Divorce can be financially destabilizing, making it essential to take proactive steps to protect your assets, especially your bank accounts, before you even file.

Here are 10 Things you can do to Protect your bank accounts and finances.

Important Note: it would be ideal if you could follow the advice below before filing, but do NOT let these be an excuse not to start the process. Call a divorce attorney and schedule a consultation to discuss your unique situation as soon as you can!

  1. Understand Your Current Financial Situation
    Begin with a thorough inventory of your financial landscape. This includes bank accounts, investments, and debts. Knowing exactly what you own and owe provides a clear starting point for protecting your assets.
  2. Open Individual Accounts
    If you don’t already have personal bank accounts, now is the time to open them. Start with a checking and savings account in your name only. This step is not about hiding assets, but about ensuring you have access to funds that are solely yours, especially for immediate expenses.
  3. Adjust Direct Deposits
    Redirect your paycheck and any other direct deposits to your new personal accounts. This prevents new income from going into joint accounts where it could become a point of contention during divorce proceedings.
  1. Create a Budget
    Divorce can lead to unexpected expenses. Creating a budget for your new financial reality can help you manage and protect your funds more effectively. Factor in legal fees, living expenses, and potential support payments.
  2. Document Everything
    Transparency is key. Document every financial move you make, from the opening of new accounts to the redirection of funds. This documentation will be invaluable during legal proceedings, demonstrating that your actions were above board.
  3. Consult with your Financial Advisor
    Seek If you have a shared financial advisor, it may not be wise to reach out. We have recommended advisors if you need help here.

Find your finances before a divorce
  1. Avoid Major Financial Decisions
    Now is not the time for large investments or significant financial moves that could impact your asset distribution. Stay the course until your divorce is finalized.
  2. Understand Your State’s Laws
    Each state has different laws regarding asset division in a divorce. Understanding Michigan’s approach to marital property and assets is crucial. This knowledge can inform your decisions and strategies for protecting your bank accounts.
  3. Monitor Your Credit
    Open and monitor a credit report in your name. This will help you track any debts incurred during the divorce process and ensure your credit remains intact.
  4. Maintain Privacy and Security
    Finally, ensure all your accounts have unique, secure passwords. Privacy and security become paramount during a divorce to protect your information from unauthorized access.

Your FIRST and Final Steps

Divorce isn’t just an emotional or physical separation, it’s a financial one too.

Taking steps to protect your bank accounts before filing for divorce not only secures your immediate financial stability but also lays the groundwork for a healthier post-divorce financial future.

But your first step is always to consult an attorney.

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