Joint Banking Account

I have a joint banking account with my spouse from which all of our bills are auto-drafted (her utilities, mortgage, etc in addition to my bills post-separation). My income is approximately 2-2.5 times her income. We are currently separated and our children split their time between her house and mine. Lately, it has become an issue where my micro-purchases are questioned (a 20 dollar purchase or less) because she can see it on the transaction history on our shared banking account. I have zero privacy at this point. Is it advisable to open my own, separate checking account? Should I begin direct depositing my check into this new account and have all the bills auto-drafted from my new solo account? She often brings up the threat of accusing me of financial abandonment and I want to avoid this. Thanks!

You should open your own bank account and this would be perfectly acceptable.

You can move your paycheck deposit into the new account but, until the issue of alimony is resolved, you must either (1) make sure to transfer into the joint account sufficient money to cover the mortgage and utilities, plus any other expenses, or (2) begin paying the expenses from your new separate account and make sure to transfer sufficient spending money (i.e. groceries, gas, children’s expenses, etc.) depending on reasonable need and ability to pay.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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