If my wife has a separate bank account and she is also on mine, is it advisable for me to have her removed prior to filing for divorce?

My wife tells me that the courts frown upon changes to financial items when filing for divorce. However, we have not yet started the process. Is it advisable for me to leave her on the account or have her taken off of it prior to filing? I am concerned about her having access to my account.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is something that you should discuss with your attorney in person.  First, you can not just take your wife off of a joint account, if that is indeed what the account is.  A bank will not do so.  And you need to know that it does not matter what the legal status of the account is.  Any money earned during a marriage is considered marital funds for distribution regardless if her name is on the account alone or yours is either. You may want to consider opening a new account once you file for divorce because then there will be a date certain that the court can look at to see that the funds earned after filing are not marital funds for distribution.  Yes, it is a pain but if you are worried about access then that is the best thing you can do.  The other accounts are subject to the state's community property laws anyway.  Good luck. 


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