Many California residents may be unsure what to do if assets are transferred from a joint account into an account in one spouse’s name. One man opted to give his wife one month to replace $130,000 that was transferred into a CD in her name only from a joint account. In this case, the wife countered by saying that the money couldn’t come out for six months.

Regardless of whether the money was returned, it may likely be deemed to be marital property in a divorce. Furthermore, a judge in a divorce case may not take kindly to a spouse making such a decision. If an individual faces a similar scenario, it may be wise to verify where the money actually went. It may also be wise to determine if the decision to transfer the money was done in an effort to game the asset division process.

In some cases, the move may be made to protect the money from being wasted or otherwise mismanaged. Ideally, an individual will document all communications regarding the money or other issues related to the divorce. This may help that person establish that the money was removed without his or her knowledge or consent. It may also help an attorney build a case against the spouse if necessary.

Typically, money that resides in a joint account is considered marital property. That may not change even if the money is transferred into an account in a single person’s name or anyone else’s name. An attorney may help establish that money that is removed from a joint account or otherwise transferred prior to a divorce may be eligible for division.