Author Topic: Shared Investment Account and Divorce  (Read 1758 times)

alm0stk00l

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Shared Investment Account and Divorce
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:26:12 AM »
My brother and I share a Vanguard investment account. We are both very happily married and divorce is not on the horizon, but out of curiosity, I was wondering how a divorce would affect our shared investment account. For instance, in the event my wife and I split, would she have a claim for half of the entire account, or half of my portion of the account?

MissPeach

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Re: Shared Investment Account and Divorce
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 12:08:10 PM »
I went through this (divorce) a few years ago. This is going to depend on a lot of factors such as if you live in a community property state, whether the account was open before you were married and any portion could be separate property, etc.

I live in a community property state and had to split the value of all accounts 50/50. I had to split the value of all my accounts 50/50 - even though all retirement accounts were only in my name. I did manage to keep my 401K but had to give more from another area of our assets. That is usually what most states look for (I'm in a single moms group with members across the country and have heard their stories in detail). They usually want to make sure the portion or assets and debts accrued during the marriage is split fairly. So as long as the value of everything is fairly split, they will usually allow people to mediate and figure out how they want to divide it first.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 12:09:42 PM by MissPeach »

DoubleDown

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Re: Shared Investment Account and Divorce
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 09:08:45 PM »
Yes, once an asset is titled jointly or comingled, then it's generally going to be split 50-50 unless the parties agree otherwise. A possible exception would be if there was a very clear history of one person contributing solely to an asset just prior to the separation/divorce. So, if you make a $20,000 individual deposit to a jointly owned account and one week later your spouse files for divorce, you may be able to recover that part. But once money becomes comingled and impossible to tease apart who contributed what, then it's going to be split equitably. And as already mentioned, depending on where you live, even if an asset is titled separately, it may also be split in a divorce since it may still be considered marital property.