Asset prior marriage, Equitable Distribution and joint account

Asked about 1 year ago - Waterbury, CT

My mom just started her search for a lawyer and will want to file for divorce in a few months.

Prior to her getting remarried, my mom owned a house and sold it right before the wedding. The money from the house sold was put in a joint bank account between me and my mom with the intention that this will be the money I'll use to pay off med school and buy a house when I finish my medical school.

My mom told me that I should just withdraw the money and put it into my account (me only w/ her as a beneficiary) now since she will be filing for divorce in a few months. Is this a wise to do so? Would this make things more complicated? There has been some money put into the account since the marriage,. I am unsure if the banks keep track on who on the joint account deposit

Additional information

For some reason this was listed under probate, can a moderator move this into divorce?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Scott D Rosenberg

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . When an application for divorce is filed in Connecticut, the judge issues standard orders which prevent the spouses from giving away assets.

    As it stands right now, your mother hasn't filed for divorce. The assets in question are her individual assets and have never been held in conjunction with the spouse, there's nothing illegal per se about completing the gift to you.

    However, family law in this area is resolved "in equity," which is a fancy way of saying the judge can do whatever seems fair. The court likely couldn't force you to return the money, but if your mom was able to sell the house because she was moving in with the house owned by her husband-to-be, and the marriage was fairly lengthy, the court could account for the gift by granting substantially all of the marital assets to your step-father, leaving your mother to live and provide housing out of her income, which may not serve her interests.

    Because of this, she should really hire an attorney before making the gift. In any event, she will still be getting the advice she needs before the divorce action is filed, so there is no harm in speaking first to you.

    Attorney Rosenberg is admitted to practice in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and currently practices in South-... more
  2. Thomas E. McCabe

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, automatic orders are in effect once the other party is served with papers, the Judge does not Order them. Therefore, as prior counsel stated, they are NOT in effect yet.

    HOWEVER, when the divorce commences, and if the soon to be ex hires an attorney who then conducts discovery, any transfer of assets "in contemplation of divorce" can be considered a contempt. I have argued that many times and been successful many times. You cannot dissipate or transfer your assets when you know you are going to be divorced.

    If your mom would like to speak with me, I have had several matters in Waterbury and would be happy to assist. Feel free to contact me at attymccabe@gmail.com or call me at 203-377-4111 for a consultation, free of charge. Regards, Thomas McCabe

  3. Celia R Reed

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your mom should consult with a divorce attorney before moving any assets. This will only complicate the divorce. It will be up to the court to decide whether this money is part of the marital community or not.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-... more
  4. Gary Todd Dupler

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Reed that the marital character of this asset can be complicated and your mother will need to consult with a local divorce attorney. I have marked this question in the divorce category.

    If this answer is helpful or you feel it is the best answer, please click that option. This response is for... more

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