Bringing up the topic of divorce also means bringing up many other sensitive issues, especially when it comes to finances. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse share any joint financial accounts, you might have concerns regarding the separation of those accounts or even the possibility that your spouse will abuse their access privileges to steal or hide assets.
There are several ways to separate property in a divorce, but the New Jersey courts follow a policy of equitable distribution. There are, however, methods for being proactive about handling your joint accounts without the need to add another layer of complexity to the already complicated divorce proceedings.
Separate your accounts through mediation
Mediation offers a solution for negotiating the division of finances within joint accounts in an amicable setting without court intervention. If you and your spouse are willing to work together toward a mutually-beneficial conclusion, mediating the separation of accounts can be an effective method of closing those accounts in a relatively pain-free way.
Freeze your accounts
If you suspect that your spouse might try to withdraw funds during your divorce, either maliciously or otherwise, you can request that the bank freeze your joint accounts and prohibit either party from accessing them during the divorce period. It is not legally possible to cut your spouse entirely off from a joint account in their name, but a freeze offers a functional alternative while striving for a positive outcome.
In the event that your spouse circumvents your attempts to protect your assets, or if they abuse joint accounts during the divorce, you can settle the matter in court. You have legal options for securing what is rightfully yours in the split.