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  1. #1
    lilpook Guest

    Question Closing a joint bank account

    What is the name of your state? Florida

    A close friend of mine, who's been married now for 3 years has just learned that her husband closed out a joint bank account from which they were paying shared bills. He abruptly moved out, after a spat, several days ago. She had checks written against bills he created, but was informed by the bank, that her husband had received manager approval to close out the account. She had deposited the money to clear pending checks. Is there anything she can do to recover her money?
  2. #2
    Jeffrey2003 Guest

    Joint accounts

    Probably not immediately. She needs to get an attorney involved immediately (preferably a domestic relations & divorce specialist). The money will probably be viewed as community property even though she earned it. He should be forced to produce documents on the accounts showing funds put in and joint expenses paid out. If he's blowing it on himself, that will come out of his have the community property. She should check out status of all accounts (joint and otherwise) as well as credit cards/lines.
    I'm not familiar with Florida community property laws.
  3. #3
    moose2 Guest
    The bank is not at fault. Joint accounts mean that both owners own equal parts of the funds in the account. The contract (signature card) that you sign with the bank allows both account holders to deposit & debit the account without recourse. Your friends husband had every right (legally) to withdraw the funds.

    As she seeks lawyers advice (which is too dang expensive) I believe she will find that any bills that are joint will also be his responsibility. If I were her, I would contact those instituions which she owed immediately and expalin her situation in some detail, and re-assure them that as soon as things are settled, they will be repaid. She should request that all late fees be held due to this case.

    Unfortunately, she will need a lawyer. Does your state provide legal aid? I realalize that if he cleaned her out, it will be hard to take that step. I, myself have financial problems that make it difficlut to take that first step to be furhter in debt.

    I was divorced once without a lawyer & regret it to this day. You never know what he might have that she has a right to. But, by law, the guy owned every penny of that money & so did she.

    I wish her the best
  4. #4
    cyana Guest
    FL is not a community property state. Moose is correct, FL is an "equitable division state". In the case of "equitable division states" neither party can withdraw any joint funds, or use joint credit cards, except on the "essentials of life", *after * one of the party's has filed and the other has been served. So it's essential that you either retain a lawyer ASAP or do the "pro se" thing which I don't recommend unless the contents of your joint checking account are the only significant asset of the marriage.

    If you absolutely not afford a lawyer now (I highly recommend one), you can probably start the ball rolling yourself. The state of FL has an excellent "Family law" website and there are many forms that you can probably download for a fee. There's also a set of books/forms even on-line filing directions on
    [url]www.divorcesource.com[url]. You can likely recover some of the joint funds in your property division. Also I highly recommend that you start your own checking account preferably at another bank ASAP. Keep in mind that these funds are also subject to "equitable division" until your file the divorce paperwork, sometimes even until you pass the required separation time of six months - I'm not clear on that one.

    Good luck.
  5. #5
    cyana Guest
    I meant your friend.

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