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Money and divorce: 3 myths and 3 realities you need to know - Ziglar

Many myths surround the topics of money and divorce, but these are four that need to be debunked right now. With the help of Money, we’ve taken the myths and proven them wrong before giving you the truth you need to know.

Separate bank accounts

Myth: “If you keep separate bank accounts during the course of your marriage, your spouse is not entitled to any of your assets.”

Reality: “It depends on how carefully you separate your money and what state you live in.”

So, what? Never rely on general statements and ideas when it comes to money. “In most circumstances, your personal bank account could be considered separate or marital property depending on where the money in that account comes from.” However, when it comes to divorce, everything is up for grabs and everything is at stake. Just because you have a bank account of savings that you’ve had for a long time doesn’t mean your spouse is not entitled to part of it if they leave.


Myth: “Your spouse can’t take property you purchased before your marriage.”

Reality: “It depends on whose name is on the deed and how you used the property after you got married.”

So, what? Many times, when you get married, you re-title your property so that it is under both of your names. When this happens, “that property is now considered marital property.” However, if you never did this, “you stand a significantly better shot at keeping it as your own.” When it comes to property, the lines are tricky to understand. Before crossing them, you need to fully understand what is at stake and how the property has been paid for and when. New York City divorce attorney Bruce Provda claims, “The house will become community property if you spend money which is earned during the marriage on maintaining the house.” So when it comes to maintenance, who paid for what? You want to consider all of the financial investments made before you will understand who actually will walk away with the property.


Myth: “Your spouse can’t take inheritances that have been bequeathed to you.”

Reality: “It depends on where you put it and what state you live in.”

So, what?: An inheritance may seem like something that is safe from your spouse if you get a divorce, but so did your paycheck, right? “If you have deposited a sum into a joint account that you share with your spouse, the money becomes community property – and therefore up for division in a divorce.” You have to fully understand, once again, where the money came from and went to throughout your marriage. Provda adds you “can typically take inheritances and any premarital personal savings,” but this is no guarantee. Be careful about assuming your inheritance is still yours when you enter into divorce proceedings because that will likely never be assumed. You may still have to fight for it.