If you have a joint bank account, it’s important to contact the bank as soon as you know you’ll be separating. If you don’t already have your own account, you’ll need to open one. MoneyHelper has lots of advice for dealing with banks.
Talk to your ex-partner to try to make sure you can both access the money in your joint account until you set up new accounts. If you can’t agree how to handle the money side of things, you could try meditation to sort things out.
If you’re worried that your ex-partner will take money out of the account without your permission, speak to the bank. You can change the way the account is set up so that you both have to agree when money is taken out. If your ex-partner runs up an overdraft, you’ll be responsible for repaying the money. So it’s very important to let your bank know about your separation.
You or your ex-partner can ask the bank to freeze the joint account. And it can only be unfrozen with permission from you both. Before you do this, think about what you’ll do about any Direct Debits or standing orders coming out of the account.
If there isn’t much money in the joint account or you’re not going to use it anymore, you can ask the bank to close it. You both need to agree to this. If there’s an overdraft on the account, this will need to be paid off first. So you’ll also need to agree with your ex-partner how this will happen.
It’s also important to deal with the credit cards you both use. If your ex-partner is an additional card holder on any of your cards, you’ll probably want to make sure the card is stopped.
Protect yourself from financial abuse
If your partner controls your money or puts debts in your name, this is called financial abuse. This can happen to anyone, and there are places to go for help and things you can do. Learn how to spot the signs and leave safely if this sounds like your situation.