Should you close shared bank accounts during divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Divorce |

Prior to marriage, both you and your partner had your own bank accounts. Once you officially got married, though, you combined all of your funds into one joint bank account. This made it easier to do things like paying the mortgage or handling family finances.

However, your marriage is now going to come to an end because the two of you are getting a divorce. You need to shift back to using a single bank account, rather than sharing one with your ex. Can you close your shared account before the divorce has even been finalized?

Taking the proper steps

On one hand, it is wise to close a shared bank account. Remember that your spouse also has access to this account. There are some cases where people will file for divorce and then find out that their spouse cleaned out the bank account, leaving them without any access to their funds.

The important thing to remember, though, is that emptying a bank account without the other person‘s permission could be a violation of their rights. It could be seen as an attempt to dissipate family assets.

Additionally, you often can’t close a shared bank account on your own. Even if you withdraw the money, you still need your spouse’s permission to close the account because they are also an official account owner. So the two of you may need to make this closure together, or you may need written permission.

Legal options

As you can see, it’s important to know exactly what steps to take as you’re going through a divorce. You also want to carefully consider your legal options if you feel that your spouse has violated your rights by closing the account or withdrawing the money.