When couples in Maryland decide to divorce, they must address their finances. One of the issues they need to tackle is what to do with joint bank accounts. Usually, spouses should close the joint bank account after withdrawing and dividing the funds. Either way, the goal is to separate finances as the divorce progresses.
Why should you close your joint bank account?
A joint bank account might have made sense when the couple was still married and both spouses were making financial decisions together. It might have facilitated a way to manage joint funds, pay bills or reach a savings goal. However, when the couple seeks a dissolution of the marriage, closing a joint bank account is an important step. Closing the joint bank account removes the shared responsibility for the account. Each spouse can then build their financial plan by creating a realistic budget or growing their savings.
What are the steps to closing a joint bank account?
Sorting out the monies in a joint account takes more than simply withdrawing and dividing the money. The steps to closing a joint account include the following:
- Ensuring each spouse has their own, separate, bank account before closing the joint one
- Establishing that the funds in the account are marital property, for example, if they came from income earned after marriage
- Seeking a formal division of the total amount of money in the account as part of the property division stage of the divorce
- Transferring your part of the funds to your bank account
- Requesting the bank to officially close the joint account
Closing a joint bank account during divorce might not be a complicated process. However, it is a critical step in maintaining your financial health.