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Should you close joint accounts before your divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2023 | Divorce

After you get divorced, you know that you’re going to close some of your joint accounts, such as a shared bank account. You will open up individual accounts moving forward.

But many people wonder if they should do this before the divorce has even been finalized. Once you and your ex have split up, should you close those joint accounts and establish your own? 

For example, you may have already set up a new personal account for your paychecks from work, as you start to divide your future finances. Should you take the money out of your shared account and add it to that personal account?

Taking the proper steps

It is important to close these accounts during a divorce. But it’s also important to know what steps you need to take.

For example, your financial institution might have rules that you need to follow saying that you cannot close these accounts on your own. Both you and your partner need to be present to do it together.

One thing you want to avoid is making it look like you are trying to steal assets from your spouse. The money in your shared accounts needs to be disclosed to the court and divided during the divorce. If you were to take all of the money out of that account and put it in your own, without telling your spouse or allowing them to be involved in the process, it could be viewed as a way of attempting to hide assets.

Your legal options

This shows how even some of the most simple things that you need to do as your marriage ends can actually be more complicated than you may have assumed. Be sure you understand exactly what legal options you have and what steps you’ll need to take.