Whether it's because one spouse is the main breadwinner or happens
to better at budgeting, one person in a marriage tends to be the keeper
of the finances. Most everyone in New York knows that money issues are
often a point of contention when a couple is facing the end of their marriage.
Divorce can be difficult enough, but for the spouse that isn't the main breadwinner
or the keeper of the budget it can be even more difficult.
There are people across the country, including some in New York, that decide
to open a separate bank account in order to have their own money in case
something happens. The account could be funded with assets acquired prior
to the marriage. If funds that were acquired during the marriage are put
into that account, ownership of that account could become complicated
in the event of a divorce since that account could be considered marital
property. The spouse with the account could possibly hurt their credibility
in court and be accused of hiding assets. No matter what, the decision
to keep an account secret is one that will need to be carefully considered
by each person.
Knowing the ins and outs of the family finances can be an invaluable tool
should the marriage end. There are too many people who don't take
an interest in the family finances and end up being taken advantage of
in a divorce. If one spouse is contemplating a divorce, it could be beneficial
to find out as much as possible about the family finances before leaving.
Couples are required to disclose all of their financial accounts during
the divorce process, including any account that was previously kept secret
from the other spouse. Knowing about the family's financial situation
ahead of time can help to ensure that both spouses are being open and
honest about their financial situation. The consequences of not knowing
could be financially debilitating.
Source: Forbes, "Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce," Jeff Landers, Feb. 14, 2013