By Mike Stetzer
Typically in marriage, a couple may choose to share financial accounts, such as checking accounts or credit cards. By law, people named on a joint account share the associated rights and liabilities of that account and are considered co-owners. Both people are responsible for anything that happens to the account, including defaults, overdrafts and fraud.
Joint accounts may include:
During divorce, the debt and asset division will need to be finalized before the final divorce decree can be approved by the court. When dividing joint accounts, the divorce court will also look at any assets or debt incurred by the couple and determine how to divide it.
Joint accounts will eventually be liquidated and divided between the couple. Each state has individual laws governing the closing of accounts. A local divorce attorney could explain the divorce laws in your state and how you might be affected.
Before the accounts are closed, both spouses are still responsible for any transactions made on the accounts, regardless of who did it. If one spouse doesn't pay a bill or rings up a bunch of items on a credit card and doesn't pay, the other spouse's credit will suffer too.
It is typically recommended that each person opens up new individual accounts so that no one else has access to the accounts and so there is some money available when needed.
Connect with a local divorce lawyer to learn more about your state's laws dealing with join accounts. Make sure you protect your credit score and financial future by not being held responsible for your spouse's financial mistakes. Fill out a divorce case review form or call 877-349-1310 to get in touch with a divorce attorney near you today.