24-Oct-2015 02:25

Liquidating assets prior to divorce

During your marriage, you and your spouse likely had a joint account(s) from which household bills were paid.Once one of you files for divorce, withdrawals from these accounts may be legally restricted through an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO).

So, if you’re about to file for divorce (or you think your husband may be), planning for your immediate financial needs becomes a question of timing.A spouse could feel that the other was divorce “planning” and will seek vengeance.The more civil way would be to get an advance distribution of funds at the outset of a case if a client feels that maintaining expenses will be difficult during the pendency of the proceeding.Another approach to the joint accounts is to try to talk prior to withdrawing from it.You will likely want to withdraw money from joint accounts and set it aside for your needs. Clients generally have a right to one-half of the value of the jointly titled funds.In New York or California, the ATRO restriction prevails so prior to any divorce papers being filed, you can withdraw any amount you would like up to 50%.

The problem is, the other spouse may have reimbursement claims etc.

Keep in mind that withdrawing money from accounts could start the divorce off in the wrong way.

If you think your divorce will be a fight, prepare to take the steps prior to the start of your divorce.

Part of the divorce process is figuring out how you will pay for things until your divorce settlement is finalized.

Despite significant gains by women, in many marriages it is still the husband who earns the larger (or the only) income and controls family finances.

I will have clients who are unaware of their spouse’s exact income, how it is invested, how much is accessible, and how many and what type of accounts they own.

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