Having a joint account as spouses may cause problems if you separate. Either or both spouses can transfer, deposit or withdraw funds from the account. When it comes to withdrawals, you should consider the below when determining whether and what to withdraw.
Joint account withdrawal considerations
When spouses choose to go their separate ways, one or both of them might try emptying part or everything from the account. Some may consider closing the account to signify the end of the marriage. Such an action might favor one spouse while leaving the other one to suffer economically.
- If possible, you should speak with your partner before withdrawing funds
As partners, the bank sees both of you fit to manage your account. You’re pooling resources to pay your bills like:
- living expenses
- childcare expenses
- car payments
By withdrawing the funds before or during divorce without your spouse’s knowledge, there may be bills, such as monthly mortgage payments that go into default, which can cause even larger financial issues.
Actions to take if your spouse empties your joint accounts before the divorce
Finding out your spouse emptied your joint account can be devastating, particularly if it was financing your family’s expenses. If this happens, considering doing the following:
- Consult a divorce lawyer
Should this happen, one of the first things to do is consult a divorce lawyer to help rectify the situation, or possibly even file an emergency motion with a family court if financial circumstances are dire and no support payments are being paid as well. Ensure you have all the bank records signifying when the withdrawals happened, the amount, and who authorized it.
- Set up an individual banking account in your name
Upon separation, you should consider opening up your own individual banking account and assess whether it is appropriate to begin having your income be deposited into said account. As noted, you should still take into consideration what joint bills remain payable and from what account they are being taken from.
Ask the Lawyers!
If you find yourself having had your joint bank account cleared out by your spouse, the RPB Ottawa Family Lawyers is ready to help. For legal representation or a consultation, contact them directly.