Safe Deposit Boxes and Divorce

SafeYou may be someone who keeps valuables in safe deposit box, a secure, fireproof storage area inside a bank.  When you get a divorce, the items in the box may become important. If you jointly own the box with your spouse you can each access it and remove anything at any time. If you are worried your spouse will try to take items out of the box, you can remove them yourself and place them somewhere that your spouse cannot access, in order to preserve them so that they can divided in the divorce.

If you have a box that is in your name alone, the items inside it may still be community marital property, so it will be important to preserve those assets as well. If you and your spouse have separate boxes but have appointed each other as deputies for access, you should not access your spouse’s box without consulting your attorney unless you believe your spouse is immediately going to remove and destroy or sell marital property. An alternative is to photograph the contents without removing them.

Joint boxes should be closed when you divorce. If you are considering a new box in your own name, first evaluate whether you have a safe place at home to store items of value. A home safe might be more convenient, but it is not as secure. If you decide to open a box it may be useful to store items such as:

–        Expensive jewelry you do not regularly wear

–        Personal documents that are hard replace like passports or birth certificates

–        Financial or legal documents like stock certificates, titles, or deeds

–        Valuable such as coin or stamp collections.

Divorce is complex. You need an attorney you can trust to help you navigate through it. The Sampair Group provides the advice you need in the Mesa or Glendale areas of Arizona. Call us now.