Addressing a joint account after a divorce
Florida couples who are going through a divorce will need to negotiate the separation of assets as part of the process. For many people, the idea of separating assets is associated with wealth and property. However, even couples who might only have a joint account will have to go through the division process.
Court ordered asset division is regulated by the family law legislation for each state. However, it is recommended that if a couple has a joint checking or savings account, they complete their separation of assets settlement before closing the account. The couple should establish what part of the money in the account is marital or individual and then proceed to decide on the division. If the couple is unable to do this, and the court is involved, the court will first establish this before ruling on the division.
Once the settlement is established, then the money can be withdrawn and divided or transferred to individual accounts before the account is closed. To close the account, one or both account holders must be present at the bank. Experts recommend both account holders should be present to avoid misunderstandings later on in the process. It is recommended that account holders cancel any scheduled deposits or payments related to the closed accounts as these could lead to additional fees. If the joint account is for a credit card, the couple should pay off the amount owed before closing the account. If the debt will be divided between them, then equal parts of the debt can be transferred to individual balance transfer accounts.
If a person is getting divorced and attempting to negotiate a settlement, they might look for guidance from a lawyer with experience in the area. The lawyer can advise the client about the process and represent them during negotiations.