Child with money in jarThis is the next post in my series discussing post divorce issues and tasks that a newly single Las Vegas individual must handle following the dissolution of a marriage. My last post explained why it is important to examine one’s budget and determine if a lifestyle change is required following a divorce and reduction of income. In this article I will touch on when and why it is important to close and open new bank accounts.

During divorce proceedings one should consult with their attorney prior to opening or closing bank accounts

The separation process begins long before divorce papers are finalized. However, until a divorce is completed, technically all funds and income belong to the marital union. Whether or not one can or should open a new bank account prior to a divorce being finalized may depend on a number of different factors such as how contentious the divorce is. It is important that one does not appear to be hiding funds or intentionally keeping one’s spouse from shared income. On the other hand it is understandable that one may not want their soon to be ex-spouse monitoring every purchase and expense one makes. Prior to opening any new bank accounts during divorce proceedings, one should consult with their attorney to ensure that they are not defying any direct Court Orders.

Following a divorce a clean financial break is necessary

It is important to make a clean break once a divorce is finalized and all monies have been divided. All joint accounts should be immediately closed and new accounts should be opened in the individual’s name. It is important for newly single spouses to close all credit cards and bank accounts that their former spouse had access to. If one spouse had a bank account in their name only, it may not be necessary to close the account, but it is important to change all electronic passwords. It is also important to notify your bank and any other financial institutions of a change of address if you have moved. Whether or not your divorce was messy it is important that you remove your ex’s ability to monitor your finances. This means removing any possibility that an ex could access your bank account, read your statements, use your credit card, or track your spending activity. Even if one trusts their ex spouse it is important to establish clear boundaries and make a clean break as individuals by removing any access to personal information.