It was big celeb gossip news when Jon Gosselin reportedly withdrew $180,000 from the couple’s joint bank account. There was a ton of speculation as to whether or not Jon would be forced to return the money. Many ask:
What happens if your spouse drained a marital account?
In the State of New York, the concept of ‘marital property’ protects against the “draining the account” scenario. New York’s Domestic Relations Law defines marital property as any property that was obtained after the date of the marriage (and before the commencement of a matrimonial action) as long as the property is not ‘separate property’ (e.g., inheritance).
Based on this premise, it is irrelevant as to which spouse holds title to the property or, as in the case of cash assets, which spouse’s account the funds are deposited. This is not to say that we are protected from a spouse that withdraws assets and absconds with the funds or irreparably depletes the funds. However, as in the case of Jon and Kate, if they were to get divorced in New York, a court would simply divide the funds based on the marital split of assets disregarding the fact that the money was in one spouse’s account or the other’s or a joint account.