For many couples in Illinois, the decision to divorce results in the division of marital property and debt. Assets such as bank accounts, real estate or retirement accounts have to be split in a fair and equitable way, and this process can require significant planning and negotiations.
A common question that comes up, especially in high-conflict divorces, is what to do with the accounts the spouses share. The last thing a person wants is his or her spouse running up high credit card charges on a card that has both spouses’ names on it. So what precautionary steps should divorcing parties take in the short term after they decide to end their marriage?
First, you will want to let the bank and the credit card company know what the situation is. The card company can stop any attempted charges your soon-to-be ex tries to make, and each party should set up his or her own checking and savings accounts. Make sure, too, that your directly deposited paycheck goes into the right account.
Since many divorcing couples don’t stop sharing expenses until after the divorce is finalized, it may also be an appropriate move to open an escrow account with your spouse. An escrow account is contractual, and the parties to the account agree upon the conditions of the transactions.
This type of account may be especially helpful if the divorcing spouses have children together, and money from both parties has to be used in caring for the kids. With escrow accounts, a third party can disburse the money according to the conditions set up by the spouses. The account can be closed once the divorce is finalized.
Knowing as much as you can about the divorce process can help you prepare for negotiations that will likely affect your financial and family life for many years. It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to establish a plan for ending the marriage. Contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for information regarding divorce, parenting time arrangements (aka child custody and visitation), child support, spousal maintenance or other family law matters.