Joint Accounts in a Divorce

Joint Accounts in an Alabama Divorce

A typical question when a divorce is filed is:  Who gets access to the money from our joint bank account?

Another common question would be:  Who has to pay the bills on our credit cards?

Joint assets

You’ve probably heard of one spouse draining the bank account during a divorce.  This spouse who makes the most money tells themselves:  “It’s my money.  I earned it.”  On the other hand the spouse with a smaller income, or no income at all will think:  “I don’t earn enough, so I need to the money to live off of during the divorce.”

Our Dothan divorce attorney can negotiate the distribution of cash in a joint account at the beginning of the divorce.  If its too late, and your spouse has taken all the money, we can request an Order from the Court for the cash to be returned and accessed by our client for living expenses.

Additionally, we counsel our divorce clients to obtain a separate checking account and close the previous account as soon as practical.   Any money they earn going forward should be deposited in the newly created account solely in their name.

We also advise clients to take a comprehensive inventory of all joint assets so that if their spouse tries to hide them, we can ask the divorce court to take their action into account when entering the final divorce Order.

Joint debts

As long as your name is listed as a guarantor on a debt, you can be held personally responsible even if the debt was not for your benefit.  In other words, your spouse incur credit card debt, an equity line, or utility bill, and you are responsible for payment because your name is on the bill.

The day you separate, if not before, we advise clients to attempt to remove their name from joint debt.  In some cases, the creditor will not remove your name and you will remain responsible for debt already incurred.  It is also wise to notify your spouse in writing of your intent not to be held responsible for any debt incurred by them from that date forward.

The Dothan divorce attorneys at Parkman White, LLP will advise you on action you should undertake to protect yourself and your assets during your separation and divorce.  Contact us today at 334-792-1900.