If you and your spouse are using a joint bank account and you decide to get divorced, you will need to close that account. Often, this is just a technical task. Maybe it’s where you get your paychecks deposited, for instance, so you both want to start a new account to split up your future income.
But one thing that is important to keep in mind is that this also can become contentious in some situations. For instance, you cannot simply close a joint account and take all of the money out of it yourself. This could be construed as a form of fraud, in the sense that it appears you were trying to hide those assets from your spouse. They do need to be divided between both of you during the divorce.
So, while closing the account is a good idea, you do also need to communicate with your spouse and do this at the same time. In fact, some banks will require that you are both there or that you at least get the other person’s signature before they will allow you to close the account.
The importance of gathering paperwork
This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to gather all of the paperwork that you can before the divorce proceedings get underway. If you have access to all of those bank statements, for instance, you can quickly see if your spouse has removed any money from the account or tried to hide funds in another manner. But it may be important to get those records while the account still exists.
Additionally, if you do find yourself involved in a dispute, it’s important to know what legal options you have. The court can help you and your spouse divide assets properly.