How to keep your finances separate during a divorce in California

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Division of Property, Divorce & Legal Separation |

Divorce in California can be a lengthy process and a hard adjustment. Someone who’s been sharing their finances with their spouse for a long time might not know how to separate these assets during the divorce process. A professional may give you personalized advice when it comes to your specific finances, but there are some general things that you can do to make the process easier.

What are some of the first steps?

The first step to separating finances is to list all of the assets in your marriage and who’s the name they’re under. These would be things like bank accounts, stock options, cars, and houses.

Sometimes, there are things that are under just one spouse’s name, like a car or a loan from before the marriage. Other times, there are assets like real estate that might have been purchased under both spouses’ names.

It’s important to know the joint and separate assets either before the divorce papers are filed or right after the divorce is initiated. Some of these assets are likely to change hands during the divorce proceedings, which is why it’s even more important to know everything.

Start separating your finances

Joint accounts need to be divided in the divorce. Even if joint bank accounts don’t get closed, changing direct deposit information and starting your own checking account is a crucial first step to separating finances. Continuing to use joint bank accounts could make you liable for any purchases your soon-to-be ex-spouse makes and vice versa. Sharing finances while the divorce is ongoing can complicate matters in court as well.

Joint assets will need to be settled in court to see who ends up with what. Before making payments on joint assets or pulling money from accounts that are joint, it may be beneficial to consult a professional. You don’t want to make a mistake and risk losing more assets to your spouse than you have to in the divorce settlement.