A joint bank account is any bank account owned by two or more people. Many married couples use joint bank accounts, giving each party the right to make deposits and withdrawals and take other actions regarding the account.
During the divorce process, the court will likely view any funds in a joint account as marital properly, regardless of who deposited or spent more money during the marriage.
It is generally recommended that you close joint accounts as soon as possible after you decide to get divorced. At the very least, you should not take any drastic action with joint accounts. If one spouse goes on a spending spree without the other’s permission, there could be legal repercussions, especially if the divorce is already in process.
What to do
As mentioned above, your best bet is to close joint bank accounts.
You and your spouse should agree to close the account, split the funds in it and open new accounts in your own name. But if you are not on speaking terms or cannot agree to split the funds, you should then speak to a divorce attorney to determine the legality of going ahead with splitting the funds yourself.
Before taking any action at all, make sure you get the go-ahead from your lawyer. And if you have any concerns about your spouse withdrawing money, you can contact the bank, inform them of your pending divorce and request a freeze on the account.
If your spouse has a history of any sort of abuse, talk to your attorney about any further assistance the courts my be able to provide.
For more information about how you can handle joint bank accounts in your divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.