Closing your bank account during divorce
You and your ex need to separate your finances when getting a divorce. Often, it’s a good idea to close any shared bank accounts when you first start the separation. It may take you months to actually finalize your divorce, but you could start living separately much sooner. If so, you may want to split up future earnings by opening personal bank accounts for your respective paychecks.
But one of the most important things to remember while doing this is that you should collaborate with your spouse. Check the regulations that are in place with the financial institution. Much of the time, with joint accounts, they will require both account owners to be present at the time that they empty and close that account. You cannot do it on your own.
But this can be a bit different from one institution to the next – and depending if you are both joint account owners or if the other person is just an “authorized user” – so be sure you know how the regulations apply in your specific situation.
The problem with doing it yourself
Even if your financial institution will allow you to close the account on your own, it may not be wise. The issue is that your ex also has a right to the money in that account. If you take 100% of the funds and close the account, they could accuse you of trying to hide assets. You may not have intended to do this, but you certainly don’t want to put yourself in a precarious position as you move toward a divorce case.
Ending your marriage can be complicated. Make sure you are well aware of all of the legal steps you’ll need to take and the proper order in which to do so.