When couples get married, they tend to put both of their earnings into one shared checking account. While this can be a beneficial way to learn to share, there are also times that a shared checking account can lead to extreme complications in the event of a divorce. When you have a joint bank account, all finances within become shared property and are technically inseparable. If you and your spouse divorce, chances are that you will need to split the joint account 50/50, even if one spouse was a higher contributor than the other.
Another danger of having a joint bank account is the possibility that that account will be abused by a spouse. Because it is a joint account, you can’t argue this at the bank if your spouse chooses to overspend your money. In order to resolve an overspending issue on a joint bank account, you will need to take the situation to court. Another joint account concern regards the management of the account. Chances are that one person will be more financially responsible than the other. While one spouse may be a careful saver, the other may be sending bounced checks and making financial faux pas that could wreck both spouses’ credit.
As well, it is difficult to close a joint checking account in the future. Both parties must sign required documentation in order for an account to be inactive. This means that if a couple splits and they are not speaking, it may be difficult to get the necessary signatures to end the account. If you are currently considering a joint checking account and know that your spouse is not financially responsible, or see that there may be a potential breakup in the future, then you should probably stay away. Talk to a Los Angeles divorce attorney at Cleary & Green today if you need more information.