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What to Do With Bank Accounts Before Filing for Divorce in Arizona
We get a lot of questions about bank accounts and divorce in Arizona. Specifically, we are asked what they should do with their bank accounts both before they file for divorce or legal separation and after they file.
One of the concerns raised is whether the other spouse will clear out all of the money in a bank account.
Some people want to know if they should clear out all of the money in the bank accounts before the other spouse does it.
There is no simple answer to whether you should remove money from your joint bank accounts prior to filing a divorce.
Things to Consider Before You Empty a Joint Bank Account Because of a Divorce in Arizona
However, there are some things to consider before your empty your joint bank accounts before you file divorce or legal separation.
Cleaning out the bank accounts before filing for divorce will give you the peace of mind that your spouse will not leave you destitute.
However, it very likely will be seen as a hostile act at the beginning of your divorce, which may significantly increase the emotions that already exist in a divorce.
One of the things good attorneys do is to not do anything at the beginning of a divorce to create an atmosphere of mistrust or otherwise increase the negative emotions people already experience in divorce.
So, if you clean out the joint bank accounts before filing for divorce you should be prepared to have a very angry spouse who may be much less likely to be reasonable when it comes time to resolve other issues in your case, such as the division of community property.
As a general rule, therefore, most good attorneys do not advise their clients to clean out joint bank accounts before filing for divorce.
Options for Withdrawing Money Before Filing for Divorce in Arizona
However, there are some instances when someone knows the other spouse is either planning to clear out the bank accounts or is likely to do so.
In those cases, a couple of options exist for you.
One such option is for you to take 50% of the money in all joint bank accounts and leave the other 50% for your spouse.
This is going to mitigate some of those hard feelings your spouse may have about your decision to remove money from financial accounts.
Other people may decide to pay off their community debts from the funds held in joint bank accounts.
This approach is considered by people who do not expect the soon to be ex to be responsible for paying his or her 50% share of the debts that are divided in a divorce.
Many people spend too much money having to enforce final orders in a divorce decree that required their former spouse to pay bills assigned to them in the divorce.
If all those debts are paid off before filing the divorce, you will have one less thing to think about during and after your divorce is final.
Option to Freeze Bank Accounts in a Divorce in Arizona
If none of the options listed above sound attractive, you can file a motion to freeze bank accounts and other financial accounts when you file for divorce or legal separation.
You or your attorney can file for a Temporary Restraining Order from the court freezing your bank accounts.
That order may, under some circumstances, be obtained before you serve your spouse with your divorce papers.
You would then serve that Temporary Restraining Order on all of your banks and financial institutions who will then prohibit either spouse from emptying any bank or financial accounts.
This approach has the obvious problem that, although your spouse cannot take money out of your bank and financial accounts, you cannot do so either.
So, this may or may not be the best option depending upon what other sources of funds you have available to support yourself during a divorce or legal separation in Arizona.
Attorneys to Consult About Bank Accounts During a Divorce in Arizona
If you have questions about joint bank accounts in an Arizona divorce case, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona community property and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in community property disputes and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona community property or family law case around today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bank Accounts and Divorce in Arizona:
Is It illegal in Arizona to Remove Money From a Bank Account Before Filing for Divorce?
No, it is not illegal for you to remove money from a joint bank account before filing a divorce in Arizona.
Will I be in trouble with the judge if I clean out all of the bank and financial accounts before filing a divorce in Arizona?
The judge may be upset with your decision to clean out the bank accounts depending upon the justification for doing so and whether you have hidden or concealed where the money is now being held.
Will a judge be upset if I remove all of the money from the accounts to pay off community debts before filing for divorce in Arizona?
Most likely not unless your spouse is left destitute and with no other way to support himself or herself.
More Articles About Arizona Community Property Laws
- ARIZONA COMMUNITY PROPERTY LAWS
- CALCULATING A COMMUNITY LIEN ON AN APPRECIATING ASSET IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- VALUING GOODWILL OF A LAWFIRM IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- COMMUNITY PROPERTY AND ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE IN ARIZONA
- SOLE AND SEPARATE FUNDS USED TO BUY A HOUSE IN ARIZONA
- DIVISION OF MILITARY RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY PAYMENTS IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- SEPARATE PROPERTY CONTRIBUTIONS WHEN DIVIDING COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- PROPERTY HELD AS JOINT TENANTS WITH RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- DIVIDING RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- ARIZONA DIVORCE DEBT
- EFFECT OF PLACING COMMUNITY PROPERTY INTO A FAMILY TRUST IN ARIZONA
- COMMUNITY PROPERTY LOTTERY WINNINGS IN ARIZONA
- IS SEPARATE PROPERTY LIABLE FOR COMMUNITY DEBT IN ARIZONA
- CREDITOR COLLECTING A SEPARATE DEBT WITH COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- TITLE AFFECTS COMMUNITY PROPERTY RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- COMMINGLING SEPARATE PROPERTY WITH COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
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- RESULT OF COMMINGLING COMMUNITY AND SEPARATE PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- INCREASED VALUE OF A BUSINESS IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- GIFT OF SEPARATE PROPERTY THROUGH A JOINT TENANCY DEED IN ARIZONA
- ABANDONMENT OF MARRIAGE AND COMMUNITY PROPERTY RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- ARE PROFITS FROM A SEPARATE BUSINESS COMMUNITY OR SEPARATE PROPERTY
- TRACING SEPARATE PROPERTY COMMINGLED WITH COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- INTENTION CONTROLS TRANSMUTATION OF SEPARATE INTO COMMUNITY PROPERTY
- RECORDING A HOME IS INSUFFICIENT TO CHANGE SEPARATE PROPERTY INTO COMMUNITY PROPERTY
- COMMUNITY PROPERTY INTEREST IN A BUSINESS OWNED PRIOR TO MARRIAGE
- WHAT IS SEPARATE PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- VALUATION AND DISTRIBUTION OPTIONS FOR A PENSION IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- UNFAIR SEPARATION AGREEMENT IN ARIZONA
- UNEQUAL DIVISION OF PROPERTY IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
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- REFUSAL TO SELL A HOUSE AFTER A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- PENSIONS AND DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- MILITARY RETIREMENT PAY AND DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- IS SEPARATE PROPERTY DIVIDED DIFFERENTLY THAN COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- IS ARIZONA A 50-50 STATE IN A DIVORCE
- IS ALL PROPERTY OWNED BY EITHER SPOUSE COMMUNITY PROPERTY IN ARIZONA
- INTEREST ON A LOAN BETWEEN SPOUSES IN ARIZONA
- IMPACT OF IMPROVEMENTS TO SEPARATE PROPERTY IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- HOW TO ENFORCE DIVISION OF PROPERTY AND DEBT IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO DIVIDE PROPERTY IN ARIZONA WHEN A SPOUSE IS HIDING ASSETS
- HOW STOCK OPTIONS ARE DIVIDED IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- HOW IS COMMUNITY PROPERTY DIVIDED IN ARIZONA
- HOW ARE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS DIVIDED IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- FILING A LIS PENDENS IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- FAIR COMPENSATION DEFENSE IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
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- DO RULES REGARDING PROPERTY APPLY TO DEBTS IN ARIZONA
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- VALUING A BUSINESS IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA WITHOUT FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION
- RETIREMENT INCREASE AFTER DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- FAILURE TO DISCLOSE FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
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- JOINING A THIRD PARTY IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- CONTESTING A RULE 69 AGREEMENT WITHOUT A TRIAL IN ARIZONA
- DEFENSE TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR PAYMENT OF COMMUNITY BILLS IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
- SURVIVOR ELECTION AND MILITARY RETIREMENT IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
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- DIVISION OF DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PLANS IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE
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