How does the money work after separation but before the final divorce decree is issued? Every household and former spouses have a unique financial scenario. Each person has their own relationship with and style of managing money. The time between the Date of Separation (DOS) and the final divorce decree is crucial for most couples.
One of the first things you are required to do is provide financial disclosures. You are required to disclose all assets and debts to the court. These disclosures must be accurate, truthful and complete. Attempting to undervalue an asset such as a business or investment property or hide money will result in harsh penalties from the court.
It is important to understand you continue to have a “fiduciary duty” to your former spouse until the divorce decree is final. This simply means you must act fairly and with their best interest in mind. Do not take any money out of joint accounts, investments or a business. You might have to pay part or all of it back before the divorce is finalized.
The answer to the question “How does the money work after separation?” is often found by documenting how the money was handled before the separation. Who paid the bills prior to the separation? How were financial decisions and major purchases handled? Was there a limit on how much one spouse could spend without checking in with the other?
After the DOS the money you earn is now your own. Yes, it is usually important to open your own checking account to start to keep your “separate” property / money out of the “community property.” However, and this is very important: you cannot move any existing money, investments or savings around without an agreement or orders from the court.
What you do with your own money going forward is your business, but the existing marital (community’s) money and assets must be carefully managed.
This is why it is important to contact the experienced family law Certified Specialists at Burke & Domercq. You need to understand the law regarding your income during a divorce and how existing monies, assets and liabilities must be handled. You need a plan which will allow you to stand on your own financially following the divorce. We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and the legal industry and contact Burke & Domercq or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment to learn more.