Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Florida residents who are thinking about filing for divorce might be wondering when it is permissible to withdraw funds from their joint accounts. The bottom line is that is varies from situation to situation. Of course, it is a valid concern for individuals to be worried about how they are going to fund their divorces and keep up with their living expenses, especially if they have no income of their own.

The law can affect when people can withdraw funds from their joint accounts. For instance, once a spouse files for divorce, an automatic temporary restraining order may go into effect, preventing either spouse from withdrawing funds from any joint accounts that they have together until their divorce settlements are finalized. However, some individuals might suspect that their spouse is hiding assets and, therefore, might want to consider withdrawing funds prior to filing for divorce.

Some spouses might want to simply withdraw 50 percent of the funds in their joint accounts, since they feel that amount is what they will be entitled to in their divorce settlements anyways. However, for those who think that their spouses have much more money in other assets and fear getting cheated, they might want to withdraw the entire amount. One divorce expert stated that she recommends withdrawing any and all funds deemed necessary prior to filing for divorce in order to avoid any legal complications later on.

As far as how much people should withdraw from their joint accounts, the issue depends greatly upon each spouse's respective personality. For instance, withdrawing half or all the money in an account could send a signal that the individual is plotting divorce, which could start a war for assets. Divorce attorneys might be able to advise their clients as to when they should withdraw any funds and how much they should withdraw.

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

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