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What should you do with your bank account before a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Division of Property

If you and your spouse are going to get a divorce, and you’ve been using a joint bank account since the day that you got married, you’re probably wondering what to do with that account now that the divorce is coming. 

On one hand, you know that the divorce process can take months, so you don’t simply want to wait for it to be resolved while sharing an account with your former partner. On the other hand, you don’t want to make any mistakes that could harm your position. So what should you do?

Starting your own account

First and foremost, it is wise to start your own account. Do not continue using a joint account as you go through the divorce. It usually doesn’t take much to contact your bank, open a personal account, and then work with the HR department at your job to change the account where your direct deposit payments go. Once you’ve done this, you know that the money you earn in between your separation and the finalization of your divorce is going to stay with you.

What you want to avoid is simply taking all the money out of the joint account or closing it down without talking to your spouse. There are cases in which this is illegal and you could be accused of trying to steal or hide assets. It may be best simply not to use that account anymore until the divorce has been finalized.

It is true that the financial side of divorce can get very complex and there is a lot at stake. It’s important for all involved to understand the legal options at their disposal.