Before getting married Jill and Brandon opened a joint bank account that paid a small amount of interest. Jill contributed $ 6,000 that she had in a certificate of deposit that had matured. Brandon inherited $ 12,000 from a relative and put that in the account as well.
Jill and Brandon got married and both of them contributed to the joint bank account each month for the next five (5) years. Jill filed for divorce. Several issues were disputed by Brandon, including Jill's claim that she was entitled to half (1/2) of the entire joint bank account.
If you were to argue this before the court, what would Brandon argument?
What would Jill argument?
What does the law have to say about joint bank accounts?
Does it make a difference that contributions were made before they were married?
Are those contributions treated differently under the law than the ones made during the marriage?
What would happen to the monies if either spouse died during the divorce proceeding?
The significance of the bank accounts as financial assets is, of course, only as important in a divorce case as the amount of monies in those accounts.
If the amounts in the bank accounts are significant, it is important to know what your rights are with respect to the monies in the accounts and what arguments can be made on your behalf to obtain your rightful share of those monies.
Imagine that during the divorce Brandon discovers that Jill not only contributed 1/2 of the monies to their joint account but also used her debit card for the account excessively to buy frivolous and unnecessary items for her own pleasure and enjoyment. The amount Jill used totaled more than half of the total of their combined contributions.
Good questions lead to good answers. If Brad's lawyer asks the right question, such as "What is the best argument that will get Brad the reminder of the account funds?" Then Brad has the best chance of succeeding because the attorney is likely to produce an argument like this,
"Brad should be entitled to the reminder of the bank account funds. Jill's conduct behind Brad's back has already given her the benefit of her share which she wasted away."
Just remember, Good Questions lead to good answers. Apply this to your entourage maritime estate and you'll produce the best arguments that may yield the best results for your divorce.