Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
Get Advice From A Lawyer 978-744-7774
Menu Contact

Does property division including draining the bank account?

Couples seeking divorce often have varied priorities. For some, simply gaining freedom from an unhappy life is the goal. Others, however, want nothing more than to get even with their spouse, and still others fear only for their financial security. A spouse who wants out of a painful marriage may give little thought to what happens to the marital assets, but most couples are keenly aware that fair property division can mean the difference between an optimistic future and years of struggle.

A question many couples may have is what to do with a joint bank account. While some may believe it fair to say whoever grabs first gets the prize, they may be disappointed to learn that this could cost them in the end. A joint savings or checking account is typically considered marital property in Massachusetts and most other states. This means, barring a prenuptial agreement, the court includes joint accounts when it divides all assets equitably between the divorcing spouses.

Those planning to file for divorce may be tempted to drain the accounts just before informing their spouses of their intentions to leave. However, this may end with a judge ordering them to repay the spouse's share of the money, perhaps with interest. It may leave the filing spouse liable for any overdraft fees or auto-pay bills that were not paid due to insufficient funds.

Some suggest a spouse may take half the money then immediately inform his or her spouse to avoid escalating tempers that may already be high. Of course, before taking any steps that could place one on shaky legal ground, it is advisable to seek the advice of an attorney. Having guidance from someone who knows the divorce laws in Massachusetts may prevent divorcing spouses from committing crucial errors that could jeopardize the chances of a fair property division or place them at a disadvantage in court.  

Source: FindLaw, "Can You Withdraw From a Joint Account During Divorce?", George Khoury, Aug. 15, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Reach Out To A Lawyer

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

email us for a response


Office Location:

Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
70 Washington Street, Suite 402
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-7774
Salem Law Office Map

office map