How to Take a Wife's Name Off a Joint Checking Account

With consent, it's simple to remove your wife's name from a checking account.

With consent, it's simple to remove your wife's name from a checking account.

A joint checking account requires trust and responsibility on the part of both owners. There may come a time when you need to remove your wife's name from a checking account. This can be for any number of reasons ranging from divorce to a simple shift in responsibility. Whatever the reason, it is a simple, but precise process. Most important, your spouse must consent to being removed from the account.

Review your account documents to determine your rights to remove a name from the account. Some banks allow the primary account holder to make changes autonomously, but most require consent of both parties.

Speak to your wife and obtain her consent to remove her name from the checking account. There can be legal ramifications if you manage to remove her name without consent, especially in a contentious situation such as divorce.

Visit a branch location and ask to speak to a customer service representative. Explain that you want to remove your wife from your joint checking account.

Present identification for both you and your wife. Usually, a bank will require two forms including a photo ID. Acceptable ID includes driver’s licenses, insurance cards, credit cards and passports. The bank will be able to provide a complete list.

Sign any documents required by the bank. Provide your wife’s written consent to be removed from the account. Submit the documentation to the customer service rep.


  • There are two types of joint checking accounts. A joint “and” account means both parties must consent to all transactions. A joint “or” account allows either party to act independently without the other’s consent.
  • In some cases, the bank will require you to close the account completely and open a new one in just your name. This depends on the bank and the terms of your agreement.
  • Ideally, your wife should go to the bank with you. This enables you both to speak to the customer service rep and fill out all necessary paperwork on the spot.

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About the Author

Carl Carabelli has been writing in various capacities for more than 15 years. He has utilized his creative writing skills to enhance his other ventures such as financial analysis, copywriting and contributing various articles and opinion pieces. Carabelli earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall and has worked in banking, notably commercial lending, since 2001.

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