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Can I take half the money out of our joint bank account?

October 11, 2017 Our Blog

When you consider it is time to file for a divorce, it’s crucial to protect yourself as best as you can. Protecting your finances and money is important for getting started in your new life. One of the first ways to start protecting your financial future is to withdrawal some of the money from your joint account and place it in your own personal account. However, before you take this step, it is essential to consider that this is a legal course of action. If it is legal, it needs to be done in a specific way.

Is It Legal To Withdraw Funds From Our Joint Account?

A spouse is legally able to withdrawal up to half of the money that is inside of your joint bank account before a divorce is filed. Keep in mind, however, that it is very important that this stuff is done before the divorce paperwork is filed. If you do it after filing for the divorce, it can be considered violating the law. After the divorce is complete, all joint bank accounts will be liquidated and split equally between the two spouses. Your savings and checking accounts, credit cards, investments, deposit boxes and any other joint property will be evenly divided and then distributed by the courts. However, before you file for your divorce, you’re legally able to withdraw up to half of the amount of money in your joint bank account. This is what you would be entitled to during most divorce agreements. It should be noted, however, this step needs to be done with your spouse’s knowledge in order to keep it legal.

Reasons For Withdrawing Funds Before Divorce

Lawyers will recommend that spouses work amicably together in order to split the funds in their joint bank accounts before the divorce is filed. Also, whenever possible, try to work out with your spouse any financial and property changes. If you think that your divorce is going to be a hostile one, it may be necessary to take out half of the money from your joint bank account before your spouse is able to place a freeze on your joint account. Unfortunately, hostile divorces can typically lead to one spouse withdrawing all of the funds from a joint bank account without the other spouse’s knowledge. Doing this can cause many more legal troubles during the divorce.

Steps To Withdrawing Your Half Of The Joint Bank Account Funds

After you have made the decision to withdraw your half of the money from your joint bank account, you should follow these tips below. Also, do not be surprised if you get a negative reaction from your spouse. The first step should be to open a bank account with your name only on it. Once your new account is active, simply transfer the funds from your joint account to your new personal account. Secondly, you should keep records of all of the money that is spent from the joint account. This is to keep you safe in the event that your actions are called into question. Keep these records in a safe place where your spouse cannot get to them.

Once you have all of your finances protected, it is time to let your spouse know. Be sure that you explain to them that you left enough money in your joint account that is sufficient for the divorce. Enough money should be left in the joint account in order to pay for certain expenses of the household and monthly bills. After you have finished filing for the divorce, inform your spouse of everything that you did.

Consult An Attorney

Filing for divorce is a complicated process. This process is even more difficult when there are many assets to be divided. It is in your best interest to consult the help of an experienced attorney who will guide you through the process and let you know exactly what to do without breaking the law.

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