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Closing a joint bank account in a divorce

Texas couples who are getting a divorce must deal with property division in most cases. This may include shutting down joint accounts such as credit cards and shared bank accounts. Regardless of who created the credit card debt, both people will be considered responsible for it by creditors, and this debt will need to be paid off in order to close the account.

Closing a joint bank account is sometimes possible by mail or fax. In other cases, one or both people who own the account might need to go in person and take photo identification. There may also be paperwork to complete. All automatic payments should be stopped and deposits should be cleared before the account is closed.

It is best to decide prior to closing the account how the assets will be distributed. This can be done by the couple, but if they cannot reach a decision, then a judge can divide the property. In general, the property acquired after marriage is considered community property and will be divided accordingly.

Although Texas is a community property state, this does not mean that all marital assets will automatically be divided 50/50 even if the division is done in court. There may be other considerations. Divorce often leaves people struggling financially, and it is important for people to try to ensure that they are getting a fair share even if they would prefer to get the divorce over with quickly. At the same time, it is also important to avoid drawing the divorce out unnecessarily. One way to avoid either of these extremes is to discuss goals ahead of time with an attorney. For example, a person may be particularly concerned about getting spousal support or a portion of a retirement fund for financial security, so this could be the focus in settlement negotiations.

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