Money is one of the messiest issues that exist when it come divorce. When it comes to the bank, the answer is simple though. Whomever is listed on the account may access, spend, withdrawal, or do whatever they want with some or all of the money in the account. By signing the bank documents when you opened the account together, or when you added the other person, you told the bank the other person could do this. The easiest way to resolve this potential problem is, when you and your significant other separate, get your own bank account.
There countless reasons people don’t want to get their own accounts; it’s an amicable divorce, I want to be able to help the other party, what if my kids need something, they would never take money from my account. The problem is, these excuses come back to bite people in the butt, far more often that people want to believe.
The reality is, there are reasons why you are separating and going your own ways; and those are the same reasons you need your own bank account. Second, if you can prove the day you separated, the money you make from that point on is no longer martial property. Continuing with a joint account will only make it so there is something else to fight over; or worse, you end up with an empty account trying to get it all back.
While it is admirable that you want to help your former partner out, or are trying to do right by your children, this is not a reason to keep an account together. With today’s technology, transferring money to someone is at your fingertips. With apps like Venmo and Cashapp, being able to transfer funds and deposit checks from you cell phone, send someone money takes just moments. Save yourself trouble, there are reasons you are no longer together and those are the same reasons to protect yourself. Even separated, if the other party takes all of your money from a joint account, there is rarely anything that can be done about it.
This also apply to credit cards as well. If you opened a credit card account under your name and credit score, and then had the bank make your partner an authorized user, it is you that is at risk. Call the bank and have them turn off that card. If your ex runs up the credit card debt, it is your credit score at risk and the bank holds you financially responsible.
Separating and getting a divorce is difficult for almost every person. There is no reason to make it more complicated by co-mingling your funds and putting your hard-earned money at risk. Get a separate account as soon as you separate and save yourself future heartache.