A common trend among many Missouri couples is to maintain separate bank accounts. Financial experts suggest that this trend does help to reduce conflict among some couples. This can be especially true if the individuals have different financial philosophies. However, does this trend help to protect assets that the individual considers to be his or hers in case of divorce?

With separate accounts, each individual’s earnings are usually deposited into that individual’s accounts. Then, bills are either divided or paid from a joint account that both individuals contribute to. Thus, one might assume that these accounts will remain separate during a divorce. After all, Missouri is considered to be an equitable distribution state. This may, or may not, be the case; equitable distribution means that each individual will be treated fairly.

One benefit of separate accounts may be easier access to funds during the divorce process. If one spouse controls the majority of available cash, then the other may have difficulty paying bills and day-to-day living expenses. In this case, it may be necessary to involve the Missouri courts to be able to pay for these items. The separate bank account simply makes things a little easier during an already difficult time.

A separate account is also a good idea if one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage. This inheritance typically is considered separate property; however, if it is commingled with marital assets, then it may be considered marital property. When it comes to divorce, it is a good idea to discuss potential options and concerns with legal counsel.