If I’m getting married this year and have my own bank account, in case of a divorce what will happen to my account?

Will I have to split it with my wife?

Asked on January 24, 2013 under Family Law, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state, community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

The funds in your bank account prior to marriage are your separate property, and your wife has no claim.

Income earned during marriage is community property and those funds in your account would be community property to which your wife would have a half interest.  If the separate property (pre-marriage funds) and community property  (post-marriage  funds) are comingled in the account and it is not possible to determine which funds are community property and which are separate property, the entire total would be presumed to be community property in which your wife would have a one half interest.  The presumption of comingled funds being designated community property can be rebutted by tracing the funds to their source to identify them as separate property or community property.  Again, if the funds are your separate property, your wife has no claim.  If the funds are community property, each spouse has a one half interest.

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