If you’re getting a divorce, it is probably a good idea to close your shared accounts. You and your spouse may have shared retirement accounts, shared investment portfolios and shared bank accounts. While the two of you were married, this just made it easier to handle your finances.
But now that you’re splitting up, you likely want to open your own personal bank account, at the very least. You want your future paychecks to be routed to this account so that they are clearly your separate property. You may also want to ensure that you get what you feel you deserve out of the funds already within that shared account. What steps do you need to take and what do you need to be aware of?
You likely need to cooperate with your spouse
Overall, closing the account is a good idea. It does help to split up your finances. It makes things easier. It streamlines the process. It can also be beneficial when creating a post-divorce budget and looking at all of your financial decisions for the future.
But the key is just to cooperate with your spouse and work together to close this account. You may be prohibited from doing so on your own. Instead, you and your spouse need to go to the financial institution, close the account together and then divide the money from that account.
The reason that institutions do not allow one person to close the shared account is that both account owners have a right to the funds. If one person cleans out the account, it could have a serious impact on their spouse and could even be seen as an effort to hide assets.
This is just the beginning of the process, but you can already see how divorce is going to be complicated from a financial perspective. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take.