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Closing a joint bank account while divorcing

When Maryland couples are heading toward divorce, some of the challenges can be not only emotional but also practical. Even when a split is amicable, shared assets can often lead to confusion. This can be especially true with joint bank accounts, especially when both parties have bills or other automatic payments connected directly to the account.

A joint bank account means that the account is fully shared by two or more people. Each person who is on the account is a full owner of the account with the right to access all of the funds stored there as well as the right to close the account. At the end of a marriage, closing a joint bank account can help to tie up loose ends.

In general, banks require holders to visit in person to close an account. While any account holder can close a joint account without the permission of the other holders, it can speed the process when all parties visit the bank together for the account closing. This can also prevent any misunderstandings about the disbursement of the funds.

The contents of the joint bank account can be settled along with other assets in the divorce. Dividing the assets before going to the bank can help avoid confusion. Some parties may reach an agreement themselves about how to divide their assets and liabilities while others may turn to the courts for an order doing so. In addition, each party should take care to cancel any automatic debits to the account and redirect those payments to their personal accounts.

A divorce lawyer can help someone heading towards the end of a marriage to seek a fair distribution of marital assets. Even in the most amicable of splits, an attorney can help to ensure a fair settlement for property division and other applicable financial issues.

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