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Can you close a bank account during your divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Property And Asset Division

If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce and you’re not on the best of terms, you may worry about the financial decisions that they’re going to make moving forward. Specifically, the two of you may have a joint bank account, and you may no longer feel comfortable with that.

Can you just close that bank account down and start one in your own name? This will protect the money that you earn in the future, as long as you steer future deposits to that account, but is there any problem with doing this before the divorce has been finalized?

Try to work with your spouse

The best-case scenario is that you and your spouse can simply agree to withdraw the money together and close down the account. You can then split the money up and you can each open your own accounts.  This is a simple and easy way to divide your finances so that each of you can have your future income in your own account, as it may take months for your divorce to be finalized. 

However, if you and your spouse can’t come to this type of agreement, be careful about simply closing down the account without their permission. You also don’t want to withdraw the money that’s currently sitting in the account. Both of these things could be seen as an attempt to steal or hide assets from your spouse during the divorce. It may be better off to request a freeze on that account and then to open a new account for your future earnings, determining that you will split up that joint account during the property division process.

The more complicated your financial situation is, the more important it is to know about all of your legal options during a divorce.