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Should I Open a Separate Bank Account During My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Marital Asset Division LawyerOne of the most important parts of filing for divorce is separating your marital assets. While this obviously involves major assets like real estate and vehicle value, it also applies to bank accounts. But if you will eventually be using separate bank accounts anyway, can you simply open a bank account during divorce and transfer money into it from your current joint account? When can you start claiming that your income actually belongs to you, and not your marriage? Read a brief overview of how to begin separating your finances during divorce and then contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney for more tailored advice. 

Do We Need to Wait for a Court to Start Separating Assets? 

You do not need to wait for a judge’s approval to begin separating your belongings. In fact, you can begin this process well before you even file for divorce. Many couples prefer to resolve all of their issues before even opening a divorce case so they can file for a faster, cheaper uncontested divorce. While it may require the help of a mediator or divorce attorneys to help you negotiate your asset division, you can start whenever you are ready. 

Many spouses begin separating their things as soon as one spouse starts planning to move out. Generally, the first things people lay claim to are their clothing, vehicles, memorabilia, and beloved pets. As long as both spouses agree to the division of more valuable items like vehicles, this is not a problem. 

When Can I Start Using My Own Bank Account? 

Illinois is unlike many other states in that it does not freeze a couple’s assets between the time they file for divorce and when the divorce is finalized. You may open your own bank account at any time so you can spend money without your spouse’s oversight. 

However, that does not mean there are no potential consequences for taking an unfair amount of money out of your joint account or for wasting shared funds on expensive items unrelated to the marriage. If, for example, you decided to empty your joint account and put all the money in your own account, and then quickly spent that money on dates with a new partner, you could lose the value of that money to your ex during the asset division process. Illinois law requires asset division to be fair, so keep in mind that your financial behavior can be carefully scrutiinized if your ex disagrees with your decisions. 

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to spend money during your divorce the same way you would during your marrige. Keep receipts of your expenditures and do not take out large amounts of cash that you will later need to account for. You can deposit your salary into your new account, but keep in mind that until the divorce is finalized, your income is still technically a marital asset. 

Call a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

Understsanding how to manage your finances during your divorce can be confusing. Avoid missteps by securing the help of an experienced Wheaton, IL divorce attorney with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. We offer comprehensive consultations so you can learn more about how we would handle your case, and we are always available to answer clients’ questions. Call us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule your initial case review today. 




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