If you are going through a divorce currently or are contemplating one I can assure you that one thing that you will not be lacking for it advice. Most of that advice will be unsolicited as well. Once a person finds you that you are going through a divorce he or she will likely end up giving you some piece of advice. T
he person doesn’t even need to have gone through a divorce him or herself- if a cousin of theirs went through a divorce be prepared to take in some advice.
On the other end of the spectrum (hopefully) will be this blog post. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represents individuals going through divorces with great regularity and as such I believe we are qualified to give the sort of advice that can positively impact your life. Issues regarding banks: safe deposit boxes, checking account and savings accounts will be discussed today.
Handling a safe deposit box while getting divorced
If you and your spouse have a safe deposit box at your credit union or other financial institution then you should know that what you all have in the box is actually what is considered property- not the box itself.
From my experiences, most safe deposit boxes are accessible by both spouses and as such it makes some sense for you to make sure that you have an idea of what is inside of it at the beginning of your divorce.
Why do I suggest this, you may be asking. Our office has a former client who was in a position where he didn’t have a safe deposit box but a physical safe that only he had access to. When he was away on a business trip his wife decided to raid the safe. She and her attorney at first insisted that she did not do so. However, as luck would have it our client contacted a locksmith in his area to examine the safe with him. This was the same locksmith that our client’s wife had contacted to break into the safe.
We provided this information to the wife’s attorney and the taken items were returned along with a promise to not to act in this manner moving forward.
The real point I’m trying to get at was our client knew exactly what was in that safe down to the specific amount of money that was in there. While he traveled a great deal for work, he knew what was in the safe and was able to report that information to me when he first became aware of the illegal access that had been committed on his safe.
Locate a witness to go to the bank with you to inventory what you have in your safe deposit box. You can also speak to an employee at the bank to have them notate that you were in fact present on that specific day so that there is a record of your actions. Someone other than a family member would be a good idea
Act before temporary orders are in place
If there are temporary orders in place for your case then you most likely are not going to be able to do anything to affect the contents of bank accounts or safe deposit boxes. Otherwise, you should be able to remove whatever items you decide to and place them into your own safe deposit box or personal safe.
In the event that the items that you remove are your separate property then there should be no issue with your removing the items at any point. However, if you are removing objects or property that could be argued to be community property then you should probably tread lightly.
Just as the contents of safe deposit boxes should be handled cautiously, the contents of a checking or savings account should be as well- at least while temporary orders are in place. This is due to the inability of a person to alter the course of your money once a divorce has begun. If your paycheck is automatically deposited into the family checking account then it should remain there for the duration of your divorce.
Paying for an attorney from the community bank account
I have had potential clients come into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC to meet with me for their divorce case. It is on a somewhat regular basis that the person will tell me that when their spouse filed for divorce he or she took the liberty of removing much of the contents of their shared checking account in order to hire an attorney.
There is nothing that is per se illegal about doing this and for many families the contents of their checking account is pretty much exactly what a family law attorney could need to begin work on your case.
Certain expenses can be taken out of a jointly held bank account during a divorce. Living expenses such as clothing, shelter and food as well as the aforementioned attorney’s fees .
What works well for many spouses going through a divorce is to agree to close any jointly held accounts in order to begin the transition into single life. Separate accounts can be opened which will more easily facilitate the sort of “necessary” spending that is inherent in any divorce case.
Questions about how to approach your divorce finances? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you this blog post related to divorce cases in Texas. Your finances will be put to the test during a divorce and it is essential to know that your attorney has your back and is ready to intercede on your behalf if necessary.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represent clients with respect and honor. Please contact us today to learn about how our office may be able assist you during whatever family law matter you are facing.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.