How to protect the money that I earn?
Question Details: I have been married for 36 years and have been working full-time 95% of that time. My husband increasingly demonstrates little regard for the opinions and choices of others, including me. Both of our paychecks are deposited into a joint checking to pay bills with little left over due to paying off college loans for our children. He basically took over the savings account I used as short-term savings (e.g. vacations, anticipated larger expenses, putting aside money for clothing, etc.) for 20 years when he deposited the nominal inheritance he received from his mother. He now refers to the account as "his money". He takes money out and stores cash in the house in case there is a "collapse" or he wants to use it. He flips out if I move money in and out of it. This is part of increasing controlling behaviors that he has developed and has made life with him more and more unpleasant. He has trouble following through with things and often makes poor superficial business decisions. If I open an account in my name and move about $100 each week from my check to this account,can I legally assert a "hands off" stance?
You can stop him from accessing that money while you are married (since if you don't put him on the account, he'll have no right or abilty to access it), but you can't exclude him from it in a divorce.
That is, while you don't have to give him access to the account while you are married, if there is a divorce, the court will consider all money earned by either spouse during marriage as part of the marital assets and will divide all such money, regardless of the account it is in. It does this specifically to prevent the breadwinner from impoverishing the other spouse simply by putting money into their own sole, not joint, account.