Try to agree with your ex-partner what you’d like to do with your joint bank account(s).
If you can’t agree, mediation (using somebody impartial)Opens in a new window is often a good way to sort out these practical matters.
Find out more about mediation on the Citizens Advice website
It’s worth you or your ex-partner contacting your bank or building society as soon as you know you’ll be separating.
Here are some other things to consider doing:
- Change the way the account has been set up – so you both have to agree to any money being taken out or overdraft limits being increased.
- Make sure that your wages or benefits go into an account just in your name in future.
- Ask the bank to suspend telephone and online banking on any joint account.
- Work out how you’ll pay bills that are currently being paid from your joint account.
- Close the account, if you don’t have much money in it or you won’t use it in the future. Both must agree, usually in writing, to close a joint account. You won’t be able to do this until any overdraft has been paid off.
If you’re worried that your ex-partner will withdraw money, freeze the account. One of you can ask the bank to freeze an account, but both of you usually have to sign a letter to say you want it ‘un-frozen’.
It’s important to consider any problems you might face if you have Direct Debits or standing orders coming out of the account, or if you make regular payments from it – for example, your mortgage or rent, bills or food shopping.