Divorce and Bank Accounts
A common complication arising during divorce is the division of the bank accounts. When you get a divorce, you hope to get out of it financially unscathed to get back on your feet quickly.
How much does one spouse get, and how does one account for the joint and individual accounts? South Carolina is a not a community property state and observes the law of equitable distribution. You will not be assuredf an equal split of your assets from your divorce case, but your lawyer at Sarah Henry Law can help you get the funds you’re due.
South Carolina’s Rules on Asset Division
As an equitable division state, family court judges in South Carolina decide marital property division based on what is the fairest and most equitable split for both parties.
Marital properties refer to any asset or debt the couple acquired during their marriage. If these assets are still with the couple when filing for divorce, these properties will be divided between the spouses during divorce proceedings. A joint bank account is one of those properties, for example.
Like other marital properties, your joint bank account shall be subject to allocation based on statutory factors covered in South Carolina’s Code of Laws. These factors include but are not limited to the following:
- Marital misconduct such as adultery, abandonment, or abuse
- Value of marital property
- Income, earning capacity, and retirement benefits of each spouse
- Non-marital property
- Child custody and child support
How to Divide Bank Accounts
In dividing the bank accounts during divorce, it is important to identify which accounts are marital property and non-marital property. Because both joint and individual accounts can be marital property, you may need legal assistance to help you divide your assets fairly between spouses.
Here’s how your divorce lawyer can help you divide your bank accounts fairly.
A joint bank account is in the name of both spouses and built during the duration of the marriage. This type of account is considered marital property.
It may be tempting to withdraw all contents of your joint account into an individual account to prevent the other spouse from incurring expenses. Keep in mind that a preemptive decision may impact you unfavorably.
Once court proceedings unravel the asset distribution, it may impact the property division against you if you disposed of marital assets. In some cases, a family court may issue an order forbidding both spouses from withdrawing anything.
Additionally, any debt or outstanding balance also incurred during the marriage is considered marital property and will be subject to division and settlement between spouses.
An individual bank account that was a gift or inheritance before or after the marriage is considered non-marital property, so long as the contents have not been legally converted into marital property by co-mingling or otherwise demonstrating an intent that the funds be marital. However, if a portion of or the whole account was transferred to the joint account, the transferred funds will likely be considered marital property.
Usually, any bank account already stated in the prenuptial agreement as separate will be considered non-marital property. Your attorney can review this information with you and give you answers for your specific case.
Protect Your Finances with a South Carolina Divorce Attorney
Divorce, by itself, is an emotionally-charged process. Dealing with its financial aspect and doing it on your own makes the proceedings twice as hard.
At Sarah Henry Law, we want to make divorce and bank account splitting as easy on you as possible. Your family law attorney is ready to speak with you as soon as possible about your divorce case. Contact our experienced South Carolina family lawyer for guidance and support by calling 864-478-8324 or by filling out the following online contact form.