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How Do Joint Bank Accounts Get Handled in a Divorce?

Dividing a Joint Asset

In the throes of a divorce, one of the most pressing concerns for spouses is how assets will be divided - especially those held in joint bank accounts. The division of such assets can often become a contentious issue, with both parties vying for what they consider their fair share. This article will specifically delve into the division of joint bank accounts held between spouses in Texas, where community property laws play a significant role in the distribution of assets upon divorce.

Community Property and Joint Assets

In Texas, community property is fundamental to understanding how joint assets, including bank accounts, are divided in a divorce. Essentially, the law views marriage as a partnership where both spouses equally share any income earned or property acquired during the marriage, regardless of who earned the income or whose name is on the title. Thus, all such assets become 'community property' and are typically divided equally between spouses upon divorce. However, this process is more complex than it appears, and several factors can influence the division of these joint assets.

Factors That May Influence Division of Assets

Several factors can alter the seemingly simple 50/50 split when dividing joint assets. For instance, the asset's acquisition date plays a crucial role. If a spouse can prove that they owned an asset before the marriage, it may be considered separate property and not part of the community property division.

Another factor is the source of the funds; if one spouse's separate property primarily funded the bank account, it might affect its division.

Furthermore, the court may consider the spouses' future earning potential and financial situation. For instance, if one spouse has significantly higher earning potential, the other spouse may be awarded a larger share of the joint assets.

The court also considers any history of waste or fraud by one spouse. If a spouse has been found to have intentionally squandered or hidden marital assets, this could significantly influence how joint bank accounts are divided in a divorce.

Work With Texas Property Division Attorneys

No matter how complex the property may be, having a family law attorney in a divorce is critical to maximize your potential outcome. At Verner Brumley Mueller Parker, we prioritize meeting your needs as we navigate your case together.

Learn more or get started by calling (214) 225-6766 or visiting our website.