Do you want to close your joint account without your spouse’s consent? Are you wondering if it is possible and how?
Opening a joint account simplifies budget management. Indeed, it is an ideal solution for sharing income and current expenses between spouses, PACS partners or cohabitants. But in case of separation, change of life choice or to protect yourself from an overly spendthrift partner, it is possible to dissociate yourself. Follow the procedure for closing a joint account without the agreement of the spouse. And you are also told what happens to the joint account once closed by your bank. But first, find out how a joint account works (so you don’t take any risks!).
How does a joint account work?
A joint account is a bank account in the name of several holders, with or without family ties. Generally, it is the spouses, PACS partners or partners who decide to open a joint account to share their income and current expenses (children’s schooling, rent, etc.). In addition, having a joint account simplifies budget management.
The joint account may include the words “Sir/Madam or Sir/Madam” or “Sir/Madam and Sir/Madam”. In the first case, holders can operate their account under their sole signature. On the other hand, in the second case, all the operations carried out require the signature of both holders.
The principle of a joint account, what there is to know
Before opening a joint account, it is advisable to mature its reflection. Indeed, this is not a trivial operation because the co-holders of a joint account are jointly responsible for the account.
This means that each of the holders can use the means of payment in their possession and spend the funds available on the account. And the co-holders are equally responsible for all the debts generated by the joint account vis-à-vis the bank. In other words, if the joint account finds itself overdrawn, the institution may request reimbursement of the debit sum from the two holders or from one of them, without distinction. And it doesn’t matter which of the two performed the operation that contributed to the overdraft.
Finally, in the event of a banking incident such as an NSF check or banking ban, the two cardholders are equally responsible. Thus, you can be stuck at the Banque de France if your partner has issued blank checks, for example.
To note : there is, however, a way to protect yourself in the event of a payment incident. This consists of designating one of you in the contract concluded with the bank. In the event of a problem, the designated person will then be solely responsible.
In which cases can one disassociate oneself from a joint account?
Do you want to terminate your joint account? Note that there are no particular reasons to give for closing an account held with a partner, civil partner or spouse.
Generally, couples decide to dissociate themselves from a joint account after a separation (divorce, break-up of Pacs, end of cohabitation). But other reasons may motivate your choice (change of lifestyle, for example).
In any case, whether your joint account partner agrees with your decision or not, you must inform your bank very quickly. To do this, contact your advisor and follow the procedure.
When to request the separation of a joint account?
It is in your interest to denounce your joint account as soon as possible, even before the divorce is pronounced by a judge, if necessary.
Inform your bank adviser as soon as possible, and start the process of uncoupling as soon as possible. Indeed, do not take the risk that the co-holder empties the joint account of its balance.
How to close a joint account without the agreement of the spouse?
Two scenarios may arise when requesting joint account unbundling. The situation of mutual closure agreement remains the simplest situation, where the co-holders wish to terminate their joint account. In this case, the account will be closed as soon as all pending transactions have been completed.
But your spouse may not want to dissociate himself. In this case, we speak of a disagreement situation of one of the co-holders. The person who wants to terminate the joint account must send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to his bank. The letter will then be delivered to the co-holder to inform him of the situation. This formality is invoiced by the financial institution which will then serve as mediator.
Then, you have the right to withdraw the sums which belong to you on the joint account (salary, for example). However, you must leave enough money for all debts to be honored (purchases, current withdrawals).
Then, your bank will certainly ask you to open an individual current account in order to domiciliate your salary and reorganize yourself from a budgetary point of view.
Finally, be aware that the presence of your co-holder when closing the joint account is desirable. However, it is possible to sign the separation documents later.
What to do if the co-holder refuses to sign the separation documents?
Even if your request for separation from your joint account does not benefit from the agreement of your spouse, be aware that the bank will not leave the account open if you have withdrawn.
The joint account will continue to operate until all pending transactions have been completed. Then it will be officially closed. And you can then open an individual current account, if you haven’t already.
The supporting documents to be provided to close a joint account
Whether or not your spouse agrees to close your joint account, you will need to provide the following documents to your advisor:
- valid ID:
- tax notice ;
- lists of organizations to be notified;
- proof of address (receipt, EDF bill, etc.)
Read also: Which documents to open a bank account?
What happens to the joint account once separated?
A separated joint account can be transformed into an individual current account in favor of the person who requested the separation.
Note that in the event of the death of the co-holder, the survivor can continue to enjoy the joint account, provided that no heir opposes it. The joint current account then becomes an individual account.
Read also: Can we open a joint account without being married?