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Should you divide your bank account before divorce?

You know you're going to have to divide your bank account during a divorce, as part of the property division process. But what about before you technically split up? Maybe you and your spouse just decided to get divorced yesterday, and you're wondering what steps to take.

Many financial experts do suggest that you and your spouse get your own bank accounts and divide your money between them. This is especially true if you are going to physically separate before the divorce and/or if you both work and have your own income.

Not doing so can cause a lot of unneeded drama and stress. For instance, one woman thought she would look spiteful if she started her own account, so she just left all of the money in her joint check account with her husband. He decided to take everything and leave her nothing. At a restaurant, trying to pay with a debit card, she found out she had no money when the card would not go through.

This put her in a crisis situation, and it led to a lot of stress in court and at home. When it all got resolved, her husband was legally ordered to pay back the money, but she still had to go through a lengthy process to get it back. The whole thing was a waste of time and energy, and it could easily have been avoided.

Financial disagreements are common during divorce. Always make sure you know your rights, especially if you feel like your spouse -- soon to be your ex -- is trying to illegally take advantage of the situation.

Source: Money Talks News, "4 Steps to Take as Soon as You Say 'I Don't'," Angela Colley, accessed April 18, 2018

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