When you get married, the first thing you may do is to open up a joint bank account, close your own bank account—or close your spouse’s account—and mix all of your money together. This is known as commingling in legal terms.
While this certainly can be done—you’re free to do as you please with your money—it’s not always a good idea. It can make it impossible for you to claim any assets as personal assets in the event of a divorce. They’ll need to be split up.
If you and your spouse come into the marriage with equal assets, you may not be too worried about this. However, what if you have significantly more than your spouse?
For example, what if you both have jobs and you have roughly $2,000 each in your savings accounts. At this point, mixing it and having $4,000 may not be a big deal.
However, what if you also have a savings account with $50,000 that you got from a grandparent who passed away? If you and your spouse split up, you probably don’t want to give your spouse $25,000 of your inheritance and split the bank account down the middle.
There are many factors that determine how money has to be split up when you divorce, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to keep all of the property that you want, but it’s much easier to show that you alone should have a claim to money from before the marriage if it was in its own account, in your name, and it was never mixed with your spouse’s money.
No matter where you are in your marriage, make sure you always consider the legal side of it and the possibility of divorce in Florida.
Source: FIndLaw, “Managing Marital Property – Do’s and Don’ts,” accessed Dec. 22, 2015