Some Illinois residents find that having bank accounts that are separate from their spouses reduces financial conflict. Additionally, some may believe that it can actually make the divorce process easier as finances were never commingled and, thus, are not considered marital property to be divided. This is actually a misconception as any assets gained during the marriage may be designated as marital property, making them subject to division.
Even though funds kept in separate bank accounts may still be considered marital property, there are still many advantages to keeping separate bank accounts. If a couple is going through a divorce, having funds that the other person cannot access can be advantageous if things turn sour. One individual may still have some access to emergency funds even if his or her ex-spouse cuts off access to any joint accounts.
Additionally, a person cannot use money as a form of control in the event that the divorce is not amicable. If one individual has control over all the money, his or her spouse may have to go to court just to get help with paying for household bills, child care and even an attorney.
Almost all assets that are obtained during a marriage, with the exception of inheritances that are kept separate, are considered to be marital property. As such, they may be subject to division in a divorce. In many cases, this can include income and other funds that are kept in separate banking accounts. A family law attorney may assist with the division of any and all property that was obtained during a marriage. Further, a lawyer may also help divide up nontangible items, such as family debt like the remaining mortgage payments and medical bills.