Ever since you and your spouse got married, you’ve used a joint bank account. You both deposit all of your earnings into that account, and you pay things like your mortgage or the credit card bills out of that account.
Recently, your spouse came to you and said that they wanted to seek a divorce. You quickly started thinking about all of that money. Your spouse has access to it, and you’re worried that they may take it prior to the divorce. Since you’re no longer going to be a couple, should you drain the bank account?
Don’t make it appear that you’re hiding marital assets
First and foremost, the funds in that account are marital assets. This means that both you and your spouse have a right to them. If you end up in court, the court can order how you need to divide this account.
So, while your bank may allow you to drain the account if you’d like, since your name is on it, be wary of the fact that this can make it appear to the court that you’re trying to hide those assets. They may believe that you were attempting to steal marital assets from your spouse.
If you are worried about your spouse doing the same thing to you, there are other options. You may be able to put a freeze on the account, for example. You may simply want to record how much money is in it at the time and then deposit all of your future earnings into a new account. But don’t run afoul of the law in your efforts to protect that money, which belongs to both of you.
This is just one part of the divorce process, and it shows you how important it is to know about all of the legal steps you’ll need to take.