Separating Joint Accounts

When my husband and I separated in November, he refused to do any kind of separation agreement. We have a joint checking account where our car insurance and cell phone bills were automatically taken out; however, I was the only one putting money into that account. Since I moved out, I have continued to put money in that account but I cannot afford to continue to cover his car insurance and I would like to take him off my cell phone account as well. We got a discount on our car insurance by bundling ours together but I would like to get my own and ensure that the joint account will not get charged for his since he is not putting money into it and I cannot afford to. Also, I am the primary account holder for the cell phone and added his as an extra line so when I take him off my account he will no longer have cell phone service. I need to stop paying for his stuff because I need extra money for my son’s school. Are there any legal issues with me doing this while we are only separated and not divorced?

You can remove him from your car insurance policy and cell phone account, however, you should notify him of this first to allow him time to get his own policy account (this is especially true for the car insurance policy). You should not do either of these things if you are the supporting spouse until there is an agreement or court order in place. You do not want your husband to deem these actions as cutting off support however, based on the facts you gave, you are not under any obligation, whether by way of a separation agreement or court order, to provide car insurance or a cell phone for him.

Anna Ayscue

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

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