How to Split Joint Bank Accounts

Sharing a bank account with another individual may be convenient, but it can also be dangerous. As a joint account holder, you are legally responsible for any fees that are levied against the account regardless of whether you accrued the fees. In addition, both account holders have full access to all of the funds contained in the account at all times. Thus, whoever shares the account with you has the right to withdraw and spend your money. Even if you trust the person sharing the joint bank account with you, splitting it may be in your best interest should your financial situation change.

Step 1

Call the bank and ask to split the account. In most cases, a bank will require you to close the joint bank account. It will then permit you and your previous joint account holder to open up new personal accounts--provided that you qualify. Bank policies differ, however, depending on the bank.

Step 2

Wait for all current transactions pending to the joint bank account to clear. You can close a bank account regardless of whether transactions are pending, but doing so may leave you to pay fees for debits or checks that posted after your account was emptied and closed.

Step 3

Withdraw the money in the joint bank account and allocate it between yourself and your joint account holder.

Step 4

Apply for a new bank account in your name only. Depending on the bank, you may need to undergo a credit check to open up a new account.

Tip

Some banks will allow you to close a joint bank account and open a new one online.

Warning

You may not be able to close the joint bank account unless you are the primary account holder.

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