How Is a Joint Bank Account Split Equitably in a Divorce?

The account belongs to both of you, but divorce may divide it unequally.

The account belongs to both of you, but divorce may divide it unequally.

The money in a couple's joint bank account belongs equally to each account holder. A divorce court doesn't have to divide it up that way, however, because the judge looks at the big picture. For example, one spouse could get all of a $10,000 joint bank account, while the other gets 100 percent of a different $10,000 asset.

Different Rules

The exact rules for how to divide up assets vary state to state. In some states, marital assets are divided 50-50, and in other states, judges have more flexibility depending on the circumstances. State law also determines whether one spouse can withdraw money from a joint account before or after filing the divorce. If one spouse needs the money to live on, it's important to check the law before trying to tap the account.

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