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Shutting down a joint bank account after divorcing

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Divorce

Deciding on a divorce and finalizing this agreement isn’t always easy for California adults. Fortunately, some aspects of divorce are easier to take care of than others. As a court prepares to divide your assets, you and your former spouse may need to close a joint checking account.

Open a new account

Whether you prefer to stay at the same bank or choose a different one, you don’t want to be without a bank account. Considering the time it takes to set up new accounts, set up your new bank account as soon as possible. Be prepared to present identification, your Social Security number and similar information to open a new bank account.

Move automatic payments

Many companies and organizations offer automatic payments. This option is helpful for people who don’t want to remember many due dates each month. But these automatic debits can be a nightmare when you forget to update your billing information. If not, these auto-drafts could come out of a joint bank account with no money. When that happens, you could be on the hook to pay any overcharge fees.

Close the joint account

It’s rare for spouses to share financial accounts after getting a divorce. However, closing a joint account depends on a few factors. Some banks require both parties that share a joint account close it in writing or in person together. Other financial institutions might only need one person present to terminate a joint account. Many financial experts advise making it easy to move money out of joint accounts by splitting its content with your ex-spouse.

While it might seem like a major process, closing a joint bank account is relatively easy. Even non-divorcing couples sometimes close joint accounts because they prefer to separate their finances.