Bank accounts opened wile in separation procedure

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Bank accounts opened wile in separation procedure

We did go to a mediator and an agrement was drawn but never signed because some issues with a property. We have been living on that agreement for over 3 years child support was paid based on that agreement and everithing was fine. During this time I opened some other bank accounts that were not mentioned in our affidavit to the court . should I take this money out of the bank now that things are not going really rosey? Please advise.

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Until such time as a divorce is commenced or an agreement signed, any monies in any account, regardless of whose name it is in is marital property subject to equitable distribution. Equitable Distribution is a percentage of the assets that each party is entitled to after the divorce.  Therefore, regardless of where this money is, it is still going to be disclosed. However, you can state in the court that this account was opened after the "mediation" and an apparent resolution and therefore was intended to be your own separate property. This may be better than cancelling the account and either hiding the money or transferring it into other accounts that may have been in existence prior to the separation.  I would need more details as to the amount of money we are talking about and nature of the account etc before advising you about how to handle it but don't be so ready to close out the account because it may only come back to haunt you later. I suggest you consult a divorce attorney in your locality to discuss your options.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Please see an experienced divorce lawyer in your area, as soon as possible. This is an awkward and potentially expensive situation you've put yourself in, and you need to find the right way out of it.  One place to look for a qualified attorney is our website:  http://attorneypages.com

I'm not a New York lawyer, and there are important differences in the divorce laws and procedures of the states.  But as a general rule, the fact that you had some unresolved property issues, and never signed the agreement, means there probably is no agreement, and it may be difficult to keep the new accounts separate.  The fact that you have been living separate and apart, following the rest of the agreement for 3 years, might help, but it will have to be used in the right way if at all.


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