Some parties have money in bank accounts or assets in a portfolio and are now contemplating a divorce. How should they proceed?
Be mindful of the Automatic Orders
First, New York has Automatic Orders which go into place upon the filing of a divorce. Thus, you cannot generally transfer or extinguish funds in a joint account after the filing unless your spouse consents. Money in the bank may be accessed for “usual & customary expenses,” which generally entails household bills. If you’re contemplating a divorce, it may behoove you to consult a Divorce Attorney now regarding what funds you can & cannot transfer.
Separate v. Marital
Generally funds or assets one accrues prior to the marriage are one’s “separate property.” This means your spouse cannot generally claim a right to such funds. However, the initial burden on proving funds or assets are separate is on the holder of those funds or assets. As such, you’re best advised to start gathering the back statements which prove what funds or assets you held on the date of your marriage.