Divorce & Joint Bank Accounts: What You Need to Know
When going through a divorce, it’s only common to worry about finances, especially when they’re in a joint checking account. Because it is a joint checking account, you are legally entitled to spend or withdraw funds before filing for divorce as you always have. However, once the Petition for divorce has been filed, there are limitations on what you can spend and how you spend it. You will need to discuss this with your attorney to make sure you are not in violation of the statutory restraining order. Keep in mind, just because the bank will let you withdraw the funds, that does not mean that it is ok in terms of your divorce proceeding. Also, if you withdraw or spend funds in a questionable manner, this may make your spouse very uncomfortable, which may lead to a hostile divorce. You may want to ask your attorney to seek an agreement from your spouse before you make questionable expenses. If your spouse is already hostile and you’re worried they will drain the bank account, talk to you attorney about your options to preserve the account.
You may also wish to discuss this with a family law attorney who can help you understand what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to joint and sole checking withdrawals.