When a divorce is likely, you may notice that your spouse begins to open his or her own accounts or begins to talk to you about getting off the accounts. What should you do, though? Do you need to take your name off the account, and if so, does that hurt you in court?
There are a few different things that determine what you can do next. Here are some tips that can help as you face this troubling time in your life.
1. Get the financial documents you need
Before you agree to get off an account, you need to make sure you have copies of the financial documents. That way, even if your spouse tries to hide assets or take you off the account without permission, you'll have information on the assets that were there before you were removed from the account. Realistically, it would be better to finalize your settlement before you are removed from the account, so you have access to pay bills or take out funds, but if that's not possible, copies of the account information can help make sure you get your fair share.
2. Contact the financial company if you don't want to be removed
It's fair to say that some spouses will take their spouses off their accounts by forging their signatures. That's illegal, but once it's done, it is harder to stop. If you contact the company ahead of time and explain the situation, they'll know to call you and flag any attempt to close out the account, preventing you from being cut off from your finances.
3. Create your own accounts
Finally, once you are ready to take your name off the account, take your share of the assets and place them in your own separate account. This keeps your assets separate, so you don't have to worry about your spouse getting into them.
These are just a few tips for avoiding trouble when you're splitting your accounts. Your attorney can help you make a decision about when it's time to take your name off an account for good.