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Dealing with joint accounts during a divorce

Estranged spouses in Michigan and around the country sometimes withdraw funds from joint accounts before filing for divorce, but this can sometimes lead to bitter disputes and protracted legal battles. Some financially vulnerable spouses who rely on the income provided by their husbands or wives withdraw money from joint checking, savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet while their divorces are pending, but others take preemptive action to prevent their spouses from hiding assets and concealing funds.

Closing a joint bank account upon divorce

Michigan spouses whose marriages are coming to an end may be concerned with the big questions about property division, splitting assets and spousal and child support. However, there are also the day-to-day financial matters that come hand in hand with divorce that may need to be addressed. One of the most common assets that will need to be divided is a joint bank account.

Dividing car insurance important in divorce cases

Michigan couples who are ending their marriages must work to disentangle their finances from each other in the property division stage of their divorces. One thing that they should not overlook is separating themselves from their car insurance policies. There are several rules regarding this about which divorcing spouses should be aware.

What to consider when asking for a marital home

It is not uncommon for Michigan residents or others going through a divorce to want to keep their marital home. In some cases, there is a sentimental attraction to the property. Parents may be concerned about providing a stable environment for their children during an uncertain time in their lives. However, it may not always be in a person's best interest to keep a marital home in a divorce.

Commingling a critical factor for inherited assets

When Michigan couples decide to end their marriages, the process requires the division of marital property. Assets received by a party through inheritance might be at risk of claims by an estranged spouse if the funds had been commingled with marital assets. For example, a spouse deposits inherited cash into an account held jointly with the other spouse. This act has commingled the money with marital money and very likely changed its status from a nonmarital asset into a marital one. Spending a portion of inherited money on a marital residence, either to buy one or remodel one, also would turn it into marital property.

The impact divorce may have on retirement accounts

The divorce rate has doubled among those 50 or older in Michigan and elsewhere since 1990. At that time, the divorce rate among that age group was five per every 1,000 marriages. In 2015, that rate had doubled to 10 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. The divorce rate for those who are 65 and older has tripled since 1990 with six divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 2015.

Ways to improve a QDRO

When a Michigan couple's marriage comes to an end, they may be eager to sign the divorce papers as quickly as possible. However, that could be a mistake from a financial point of view. In cases where divorcing couples are splitting retirement assets, it may be necessary to sign a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Although an individual may find the order to be fair, it may be worth checking with a financial adviser first.

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