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Can you close a joint bank account when getting divorced?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Divorce

As you and your spouse get divorced, it may be time to begin separating your finances. This is most clearly done during property division. You have to disclose the assets that you own to the court, and then they will be divided between the two of you in accordance with state law.

However, the divorce process does take time. If the two of you were using a joint bank account, as many married couples do, then should you close that account? Are you even allowed to do so? It could take up to a year for your divorce to be processed, so you certainly don’t want to be sharing funds with your soon-to-be ex at this time.

You may not be able to close it alone

One thing to remember is that you may not be able to close that account without your spouse being present. It depends on the rules at the financial institution. But, in most cases, they will require both people to be present to close an account that they are both named on. If your spouse will cooperate with you, that should happen without a problem. If they won’t, then you may have trouble closing that account.

Should you just take all of the money out?

It can be problematic to just remove the money from the account. Remember that, as noted above, your assets have to be divided. Taking all of the financial assets for yourself could be seen as a way to hide or dissipate those assets.

Your options moving forward

If you are getting divorced, you can see how complicated even the simplest parts of the process may become. Be sure you know about all of your legal options.