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We are going through a divorce. If I have a seperate checking account on my name only, can my spouse claim half of it?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Divorce

Divorce question

Attorney Answers 8

  1. Was it opened before the marriage? during the marriage? what funds were placed in there during the marriage?

  2. In equitable distribution all assets are divided unless certain property is deemed to be seperate. If the parties do not come to an agreement the court will determine what property constitutes marital assets subject to distribution. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.

  3. If you opened the account before an action for divorce was filed, or if the source of the funds was funds earned or saved during the marriage, then your spouse can claim that those funds are marital. If the funds are marital, your spouse can claim half of the marital portion.

  4. Generally, any value that is acquired or accrued during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution regardless of the source. Of course, there are numerous exceptions, etc. and "equitable" doesn't automatically mean "half". I suggest you consult with an attorney immediately to fully review all your rights, options and obligations before any more steps are taken toward your divorce. Good luck!

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

  5. When you say "separate," this may differ from what attorneys mean by "separate property." The latter term generally signifies assets which you had prior to the marriage. So the question becomes: is the money in that "separate" account money you earned during the marriage (if yes, it's generally marital property), or money you had coming into the marriage which you kept in a separate account? In any event, I encourage you to follow-up with a NYC Divorce lawyer.

    * If you found my answer to be helpful, or the "best answer," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

  6. All assets are subject to equitable distribution if acquired during the marriage. There are several exceptions; if it was acquired before the marriage,nif it was a gift or inheritance or a recovery from a personal injury accident case. An attorney would need to review the checking account statements to have a better idea.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

  7. That depends on whether it was a premarital account or post marital account and when you put funds in the account and from what source. More facts are needed.

  8. your question is fact sensitive and the answer depends upon when you opened the account, what funds were used to do so and what finds are deposited into it. Good idea to work with your attorney to figure it out.

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