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When is it okay to withdraw funds from joint accounts?

Texas individuals preparing for a divorce might be worried about how they are going to fund their divorce as well as pay their living expenses during the process. They might also be wondering when it is okay for them to withdraw funds from join accounts that they hold with their spouses. Various divorce experts state that the timing for withdrawing funds from joint accounts is not a question that is easily answered and can depend upon factors, such as each spouse's personality.

For some spouses, seeing that the other spouse withdrew half or all of the assets in their joint accounts could be a signal that the other spouse is plotting divorce. Therefore, it could set off an asset war in which each spouse is struggling to hide assets from the other spouse. Withdrawing funds prior to a divorce could send the wrong message and start the divorce process off in a contentious way. However, if divorce was inevitable and likely to be contentious anyways, it might be a good idea for spouses to secure as much as they can prior to filing to ensure they don't get cheated out of assets in the end.

In some states, automatic temporary restraining orders go into effect after divorce is filed. Such orders prevent spouses from withdrawing funds from joint account without violating the orders, for which there are repercussions. Some attorneys advise that people should ensure that they secure as much money as they think they will need to carry them through the divorce process prior to filing to ensure that they do not breech any automatic court orders.

Divorce attorneys might be able to advise spouses seeking divorces as to when and how much they should withdraw from their joint accounts. Then, they might be able to assist them with finalizing their divorces.

Source: Forbes, "When Can You Withdraw Funds From Joint Accounts?", Jeff Landers, September 17, 2013

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