Bank Account Access

I understand how frightening this prospect could be. Legally, even if the spouse did empty the account and take off, you would still be entitled to 1/2 that money for equitable distribution. Though this is probably little consolation since you would more than likely have to go back to court to get this and that would take considerably more time that you would have…

My suggestion is that you remove him from the joint account and at the same time open a separate account in his name alone. You could thereafter put the “allowance” into this account, or write a check to him to put into it. Make sure to keep documentation so that when a formal agreement is reached you will have this to add to it. This would mean that you would both have to go to the bank and he would have knowledge that you were removing him from the account, but most of time disclosure is the best option when it comes to finances and divorce, IMHO.

Yes this is very hard. I went through this.

You need to open a new account with only you on it and change the direct deposits to the new account.

Contact all the companies that draft your old account and get them drafting out of the new account.

It is a mess, but it can be done. Once you do this transfer the remaining funds to the new account. You can close the account so long as you are on the account. Once you do this you will have control of your finances.

Then tell your cheating spouse that the account is closed. I don’t think it can be reopened.

Beware, once an account is closed and a draft comes in on that account it will be reopened automatically and the account will be thrown into the negative. Drafts are agreements between the bank and the company doing the drafting. The bank must honor the draft.

Why would you give her an allowance? Just me, but she doesn’t deserve anything. Let her go out and get a job.

Legally you aren’t “seperated” until you are living apart. Thet means the spouse is entitled to 1/2 of the income until that date.

That being said… RUN do not walk to the bank. Close the account, put 1/2 in your own account and get a chashier’s check for spouse’s half. The reason for this is that in NC you cannot “remove” someone from a bank account, you can only close the account. I found this out the hard way. Ex promised he’d taken my name off his checking account. A year and a half later I had 2000.00+ drafted out of my account without warning to cover HIS bounced checks. I still haven’t recovered but half of this money. The bank was able to draft my personal account, even though it has a different address and account because my name was still tied to the old account. Also, since my name was on son’s savings account that was raided too. Close every account that tie you two toegther.

You can remove him from the joint bank account, but when you separate you will need to account for the use of those funds.

If you are the sole source of support for the family and your spouse does not have a source of income to pay his personal expenses, you should consult with an attorney before taking this step.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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Thank you for all the information I have received from this site so far. I do not want to say it is good that there are people out there who know what I’m going through, but I will say it makes it a little easier to deal with.

I have another question. I am going through a seperation with my spouse, who has been unfaithful. We both still live in the house for the time being. I am the only provider of income for the household, which includes two children. I fear that my spouse will one payday empty out the joint bank account and take off. My only concern here is that, like so many others, our household lives paycheck to paycheck. I want to be able to insure that I will still be able to pay the bills, etc. My question: can I remove my spouse from the joint bank account?

This account was mine alone while we were dating, and I added my spouse as a joint account holder when we were engaged. I do have the ability per the signature card to remove joint account holders, but is it advisable to do so? I do not want to be accused of “witholding assets” and the like, but I do want to secure my finances and prevent any sort of raid on the funds that are still necessary to take care of bills, utilities, etc. until we are able to sell the house and live apart. I would be willing to provide the spouse with some sort of allowance until a formal agreement can be reached, but I do not know how these kinds of things work. Thank you.