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Do I need to worry about my separate bank account during divorce?


Married couples usually share most things, like housing, beds and groceries. Some younger adults feel inclined to change up how they do things, which is not necessarily a bad thing. With it easier than ever to simply transfer money to another person, some Texas couples are increasingly choosing to maintain separate bank accounts during marriage. However, this can become a problem during divorce when individuals do not understand the difference between community and separate property.

Community (marital) property is anything owned jointly by a married couple, and those items are subject to property division. Separate property is anything owned individually, either acquired before marriage or under unique circumstances. Young adults often believe that maintaining separate bank accounts will protect their money and incomes, marking those assets as separate. However, this is simply not the case.

Since money kept in separate bank accounts is generally still community property, couples need to find another way to protect their finances. Prenuptial agreements are a good solution for this problem. Couples can use prenups to address which property is marital and which is separate, and can even decide on what property division would look like if they later decide to divorce. This also gives couples in Texas the opportunity to talk about important financial matters before tying the knot, which can be extremely helpful.

There are methods for protecting separate assets from making the transition to community property, including printing off account statements for several months prior to the date of the wedding to demonstrate what was acquired before marriage. Keeping inheritance money out of joint bank accounts is also a good preventative measure. However, neither of these are entirely fail-safe, so couples who feel as if they have assets to protect during a divorce should consider the potential benefits of a prenuptial agreement.

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