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When can money be withdrawn from joint accounts during divorce?

Texas couples who have ever thought about bringing a marriage to an end may be aware that a lot of financial issues must be worked out during the process. One such problem has been addressed in a recent online financial advice article: the payment of bills during the divorce procedure. Part of the divorce scenario involves one spouse planning how he or she is going to afford to pay the bills until a divorce settlement comes to its conclusion. Many times, that is no easy task; this can be especially true for the spouse with the lower income. The same may also apply to the one with less control of or access to the family's finances.

According to the author, in many marriages, the husband continues to be the spouse who earns more money and has greater control. Facing divorce, the wife in these situations may be vulnerable to a husband who is willing to make it more difficult for the wife by unilaterally emptying the joint bank accounts.

In attempt to provide a wide range of advice, the author consulted a number of high profile attorneys in order to seek their opinions. Although the attorneys' exact advice varied, there are some suggestions that followed a common thread.

The first insight offered was to, for any monetary withdrawal, make it prior to the court filing. At the time of filing, an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order is usually created. Such an order limits what may be legally done with all financial accounts.

Others suggested not taking more than 50 percent of available funds, attempting to reach some mutual agreement with the other spouse and avoiding acts that may be seen as provocative. When contemplating divorce, consultation with an attorney may helpful. In the case of attempting to plan for paying expenses, an attorney may be able to fully advise a potential client about all the options available, including which shared funds may be accessible.

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

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