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
For some reason this was listed under probate, can a moderator move this into divorce?
Family Law Attorney
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.
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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.
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Elder Law Attorney
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-Central Connecticut with an emphasis on estate planning, elder law, probate, and tax matters. He may be contacted confidentially by email at Scott@ScottRosenbergLaw.com or by phone at (203) 871-3830. All correspondence through this website appears publicly, is not confidential, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Atty. Rosenberg. Discretion should always be employed when posting personal information online. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All online content provided by Atty. Rosenberg on this and other websites is provided for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. All content is general in nature. Attorneys are unable to ask the questions necessary to fully understand the legal issues faced by any particular poster. Postings and responses to questions only provide general insights on the topic discussed. They are not tailored to any readerâ€™s specific situation, will not be accurate in all states, and are never updated or maintained to reflect changes in the law. No person should take action based on the information provided by anyone on Avvo.com or any other law-themed website without first consulting a local attorney with significant experience in your area of concern. Persuant to Circular 230, no online content may be used by any person to avoid taxes or penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.
Family Law Attorney
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 203-377-4111 for a consultation, free of charge. Regards, Thomas McCabe