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Should you close a joint bank account during divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Family Law |

Joint bank accounts are very common with married couples. It’s an easy way for them to set things up so that they can both arrange for a direct deposit of their paychecks. They then use this bank account for everything from paying off credit cards to paying the mortgage.

But when couples get divorced, they need to divide their finances. If you find yourself in this position, you may be considering closing that joint bank account. Are there any things you need to consider?

Why this can be helpful – and what you need to know

This can be an important step to take during the divorce proceedings. After all, you want to keep the assets you earn after your separation in your own bank account. You also want to make sure that your spouse doesn’t take all of the money out of the shared account, leaving you with nothing as you start the divorce process. Shared accounts – both bank accounts and credit card accounts – can be very risky for couples who are splitting up.

That being said, it’s important that you understand what rules and regulations you need to follow. After all, you don’t want it to appear that you are the one who is trying to clean out the bank account and take those assets from your spouse. Often, financial institutions will require that both people close down a joint bank account, in person, at the same time. Don’t do anything rash that could make the eventual property division process more complicated.

The financial side of getting divorced is often contentious. Couples must be well aware of their legal options.