Making The Complex

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Don’t forget about your bank account during divorce

Whether paying bills or buying groceries, maintaining a joint bank account makes things easier for most married couples. Joint bank accounts can be a bit trickier to deal with during divorce, though. Some people in Louisiana are just not sure what to do with these accounts after deciding to call it quits. Others are worried about what their soon to be ex’s might do with the funds.

After deciding to divorce, a couple may simply choose to close their joint bank account and open up their own personal accounts. While this is a good idea for some, not everyone is still on good enough terms to navigate this process. Others might not have enough personal funds to justify their own accounts, either. When facing these types of situations, it is often best to wait to deal with these accounts until property division.

Unfortunately, some people take advantage of this situation. For example, one spouse might choose to withdraw all of the money from a joint account and use it as he or she sees fit. So long as his or her name is on the account this is usually legal unless a judge has placed an injunction against doing so. One way to avoid this problem is to require signatures from both account holders for any withdrawals or other changes.

What happens to the money in a joint bank account can mean the difference between living with financial security or struggling. But when there are so many other things to consider during a divorce — child custody, support or alimony — it can be hard to keep one’s focus on something that may seem as normal as the family bank account. Taking steps early on to make sure that these funds are protected can help, like talking with an experienced Louisiana attorney about one’s options.


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