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Does having separate bank accounts matter in divorce?

When you got married, you already had your own bank account. So did your spouse. Rather than combining them, you decided to just keep using the separate ones the way you did before you got married. It seemed easier.

Now you're getting divorced. Your spouse, who earns more money than you, wants to keep the money in their accounts while you keep the money in yours. That means that they would leave the marriage with considerably more than you.

Despite popular misconceptions, that's not how property division works. Having separate accounts does not mean that the spouse who's not on the account has no right to any of the funds when property is divided.

What you have to do is to divide your marital assets. It does not matter where you keep them. The income you both earned during the marriage is considered part of your marital assets and it is subjected to the same property division laws as everything else you own.

This is potentially big for you since your spouse made more money than you did. You may have a right to some of that money. Connecticut has equitable distribution laws, which are not always mean 50-50 division. However, if the court deems that it's fair to give you some of the money from your spouse's account, they can't refuse to do so on the grounds that your name was not on that account.

Don't buy into any property division myths. Make sure you know exactly what rights you have. Your family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you seek a fair division of property.

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