It’s common for some people to assume that they’ll have to share a bank account with their spouse once they get married. However, studies show that more married couples decide to have separate bank accounts instead of combining them.
One Bankrate survey shows that 43 percent of Gen Z and 31 percent of Millennial respondents planned on keeping their finances separate. If you want more information about separate bank accounts click here.
An important foundation of a healthy marriage involves honest discussions about finances and separate accounts. Also, one more study shows that people have higher marital satisfaction() when they can manage their money properly, which is possible by having an individual account. Here are a few other reasons why having separate accounts is advisable.
1. Either Spouse Has Extra Debt
If you or your spouse has acquired premarital debt, having a joint account will make both of you accountable. Creditors may target the joint account if it’s also in your spouse’s name. Consequently, your hard-earned income may end up going towards repaying those debts.
This can be detrimental to your credit score if you’ve been able to stay debt-free and keep a steady credit score till now. It’s best to have an open discussion about previous debts and how they plan on managing them to avoid feeling resentment towards your spouse.
2. Makes Divorce Less Complicated
Many people assume that a separate account means the money is theirs. This way, it’s not subject to normal asset division rules during a divorce. It’s incorrect to assume that your assets or income will remain yours after marriage. But that doesn’t mean separate bank accounts don’t offer any benefits in the event of a divorce.
If you have an individual account, you’ll have access to some money if your spouse restricts access to the joint funds. During a divorce, your spouse may try to take control of the account and credit cards. You may have to go to court for orders to pay for expenses like bills and childcare.
3. Keeps Premarital Savings Separate
Nowadays, it’s common for people to wait longer before settling down with a long-term partner. When you get married later, it’s likely that you have more savings. That means anything you acquired while single isn’t marital property.
It can include savings or inheritance money in your account. If you transfer that money to a joint account, you forfeit sole ownership of the funds. Also, your spouse may have a claim to it if you decide to get a divorce.
4. Gives You Autonomy
As mentioned above, most people these days are getting married at a later age. Often, they wait until after they’ve built up some assets and established steady careers.
Therefore, the thought of having a joint account after gaining autonomy can seem like a bad idea. When you have separate accounts, you can maintain a feeling of independence and as if you need to ask for permission before every purchase.
5. Helps Avoid Disagreements
Even if you’re similar in many ways, it’s likely that you’re different when it comes to spending money. With a joint account, you and your spouse may end up having disagreements about where each of you spends money.
When your partner is constantly nagging you about your purchase or vice versa, resentment can develop. It’s best to have your own account in addition to a joint account from the get-go to prevent that from happening.
6. Allows Both Partners to Practice Budgeting
In many marriages, it’s common for one spouse to take responsibility for budgeting and managing finances. While it seems efficient, it can leave the other spouse in a difficult situation during an emergency.
Ideally, both partners should stay on top of finances and know which bills are due and what expenses need to be paid every month.
The Best Option: Having Separate And Joint Accounts
It’s best to have an individual and joint account when married. According to many financial experts, this helps create will create a mine-yours-ours system.
It’s an effective way to handle expenses in your marriage without giving everything away. It promotes greater satisfaction with one’s married life and prevents disagreements over expenses.
Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding separate accounts are as follows:
1. How to separate money in bank accounts?
You and your spouse put a portion of your paychecks into a joint account to pay for household expenses like bills, groceries, and mortgage payments. Then, you can keep cash for personal spending in separate accounts.
2. Can I empty my bank account before divorce?
You can empty your bank account before a divorce if you’ve stated it in the prenuptial agreement or if your state considers it separate property. If neither of these conditions applies, you can still empty your account.
However, it can affect the judge’s decision once you file for divorce. Ideally, you should consult a divorce attorney prior to making any such decision.
3. Can your spouse access your bank account?
If it’s a separate bank account, only the account holder can access the funds. Therefore, your spouse doesn’t have the legal right to access your funds.
4. What if my husband wants separate bank accounts?
If your spouse wants separate bank accounts, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in the relationship. There are various benefits of having separate accounts, but it’s still important to communicate your concerns.
For instance, how does he plan on splitting household expenses and money for shared financial goals? This way, both partners will be on the same page regarding expenses, and the marriage will have a sense of financial transparency.
To sum it up, there are many important reasons to have a separate account under your name. It allows you to keep your savings separate and helps you avoid incurring extra debt.
You’ll also be able to maintain financial autonomy and independence, which can be helpful during a divorce. More importantly, you can also develop better budgeting skills, which can come in handy during emergencies when your budget-savvy spouse is unavailable.