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Should finances be kept secret in case of a divorce?

One way that Georgia residents who suspect they are headed for divorce can provide themselves with more control and stability is to open a bank account that they alone have access to and that their spouse does not know about. However, there are both pros and cons associated with keeping a hidden account, and the assets in these accounts may still be considered a part of marital assets.

The advantage of a so-called "secret" account is that if one partner ends up filing for divorce, he or she will have assets on hand that will help with the process. In addition, he or she may feel empowered by the increased financial security and the sense of self-sufficiency that goes along with it. As it is not uncommon for one partner getting a divorce to clear out a joint bank account, having secret funds ensures that the other partner is not in a poor financial situation if this occurs. Having personal money also gives an individual greater options for separation and reduces the dependence on the other spouse.

On the other hand, hidden assets can also cause strife within a marriage if they are discovered as they may be deemed a breach of trust. Additionally, it is illegal to hide assets during a divorce, so one will need to disclose the existence of the account to his or her lawyer.

Individuals who are considering divorce might benefit from speaking with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. An attorney could help them understand their options and assist in protecting their rights and assets in a divorce.

Source: Forbes, "Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce," Jeff Landers, Feb. 14, 2013

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