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Separate checking accounts could improve your divorce

Financial discussions before and during a Michigan marriage are crucial to the health of the relationship. According to Bankrate.com, they may also affect the health of a divorce. Even though the couple may have shared a joint bank account while they were together, once they have decided to separate, the potential for conflict may be lessened if they each have their own.

Depending on how long the process takes, spouses may need to take care of shared expenses for some time. Dividing these up as fairly as possible based on the percentage of the combined income that each spouse makes could prevent hard feelings, at least in this arena, while they are attempting to come to an agreement on property division, custody and other common aspects of divorce.

Forbes magazine warns that full disclosure of assets is required on a financial affidavit, and lying about them in the divorce can have severe legal consequences. Although neither spouse has to tell the other how much they have before they file, being open about personal income and expenses in the early days may be important in order to prevent dispute-spawning surprises when it is time to sit down together and discuss the settlement.

Separate accounts may be beneficial when it comes time for spouses to hire legal representation. Using money from a joint account to pay attorney’s fees in a court battle could easily become problematic, as could excess spending that appears to be vindictive in nature. Even when a couple does not share an account, it is important that neither of them appear to be blowing money right before the divorce, which could be viewed by the court as dissipation of marital assets.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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