Money disputes can be among the biggest conflicts in a marriage, so a lot of couples are opting to keep separate bank accounts in addition to a “household” account that’s jointly owned and used to pay the bills. That way, each spouse retains control over their own money and a certain measure of financial autonomy from the other spouse.
Except that distinction between what is “yours” and what is “your spouse’s” may not really exist once you decide to divorce. That fact can be an unpleasant surprise — particularly to the spouse who was more fiscally conservative or invested wisely. Separate bank accounts during your marriage may provide the illusion of separate funds — but the money that’s in those accounts may be considered marital property by the court.
Even more confusing, you may have inadvertently comingled your separate property with your marital property over time. That can make it exceptionally difficult to figure out on your own how much of what you have will be left to you after your divorce. Since Texas is a community property state, nearly everything that you acquire during your marriage is considered part of the marital assets — even when it is kept in only one spouse’s name.
At our office, we know that it’s important to take a careful look at all of the financial holdings and assets you and your spouse own, no matter whose name it is in. We also know that marital and separate property sometimes get mixed together despite a couple’s best intentions. If you want to learn more about how the division of property works in divorce and discuss how the law might apply to your situation, contact our office today.