Bank accounts: can I withdraw all the money in joint account (2024)

Bank accounts: can I withdraw all the money in joint account (1)

I put my boyfriend's name on my checking account, and he deposited his income tax refund in that account. A week later, he left me for another relationship. I withdrew all the money from the account before he could and wonder whether he has any rights in getting any of the money back.

Either party may withdraw all the money from a joint account. The other party may sue in small claims court to get some money back. The amount awarded can vary, depending on issues such as whether joint bills were paid from the account or how much each party contributed to the account.

The judge may also decide the case based upon how much money is at issue. If it was $5,000, for example, the judge might weigh that clearly the person who put the money in there was not intending for the other person to have it all. On the other hand, if it’s only a couple hundred dollars withdrawn, the judge may weigh that the parties chose to establish a joint account intentionally and that either party can withdraw any amount they choose. The other party then would have to argue that the court should determine that the money is subject to a constructive trust — that it’s really there for the benefit of the person who deposited the money.

Putting money in a joint account with someone who is not a spouse does give control over your money to someone else and getting it back can be difficult. (In a spousal situation the divorce court can look at situations where one spouse takes off with all the assets in an account as part of the whole divorce settlement.)

Bank accounts: can I withdraw all the money in joint account (2)Article by Tony Gingrasso, La Crosse attorney with Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC. To reach a lawyer in the La Crosse area, call himat 608-784-5678.

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Bank accounts: can I withdraw all the money in joint account (2024)

FAQs

Bank accounts: can I withdraw all the money in joint account? ›

The money in joint accounts belongs to both owners. Either person can withdraw or spend the money at will — even if they weren't the one to deposit the funds. The bank makes no distinction between money deposited by one person or the other, making a joint account useful for handling shared expenses.

Can I take all the money from a joint account? ›

Either party may withdraw all the money from a joint account. The other party may sue in small claims court to get some money back. The amount awarded can vary, depending on issues such as whether joint bills were paid from the account or how much each party contributed to the account.

Can any joint account holder may withdraw all the money in the account? ›

All joint bank accounts have two or more owners. Each owner has the full right to withdraw, deposit, and otherwise manage the account's funds. While some banks may label one person as the primary account holder, that doesn't change the fact everyone owns everything—together.

Can wife take all money out of my account? ›

Many married couples have joint bank accounts. Each spouse has the right to make deposits into the account, and, each spouse has the right to withdraw from the account any amount up to the total balance.

Can both joint account holder withdraw money? ›

Both account holders can withdraw money from the joint account at any time. The other account holder will be notified about the amount withdrawn and when it happened in-app. We advise considering who you share a joint account with very carefully. In any case, it should be a trusted person.

What is the limit on joint bank accounts? ›

Insurance Limit

Each co-owner of a joint account is insured up to $250,000 for the combined amount of his or her interests in all joint accounts at the same IDI. In determining a co-owner's interest in a joint account, the FDIC assumes each co-owner is an equal owner unless the IDI records clearly indicate otherwise.

What are the rules for joint bank accounts? ›

Following are the Joint Bank Account Rules in India per the account mode. Joint: All transactions in the account must be approved and signed by all the account holders. If any one of the account holders dies, the account will be deemed inoperable, and the bank will pass on the balance in the account to the survivor.

Does a joint account need both signatures to withdraw money? ›

Bank accounts held jointly between two parties may be titled with an "and" or an "or" between the account holders' names. If the account is listed as an "and" account, then both/all parties must sign to access the funds. If it is an "or" account, only one party must sign.

Who is the primary account holder on a joint account? ›

Primary account holders are legally responsible for the account. Primary account holders can name others as "authorized users" on the account, but they remain responsible for it. Joint account holders share responsibility for that account and both are considered primary account holders.

Does a wife have access to her husband's bank account? ›

Only the account holder has the right to access their bank account. If you have a joint bank account, you both own the account and have access to the funds. But in the case of a personal bank account, your spouse has no legal right to access it.

Can my husband take all my money? ›

That being said, though, your husband can't take and keep all of the marital money that was in the bank account on the date of separation. Half of it is rightfully yours, and your attorney could help you get it back in court, if your husband won't give you your fair share willingly.

What is financial infidelity in a marriage? ›

Financial infidelity occurs when one partner hides or misrepresents financial information from the other, such as keeping secret bank accounts or hiding purchases. It does not necessarily involve marital infidelity, though it can lead to divorce.

What are the disadvantages of a joint account? ›

A joint account might damage your credit score

Opening a joint account adds a financial link to the other person. This means companies will look at both of your credit histories as part of any credit checks. If they have a poor credit history, this might lower your chances of acceptance.

Can my husband take all the money? ›

No. Your joint assets are divided equally between you. Anything you owned before marriage, or acquired through inheritance, remains yours. Things acquired during marriage get split between.

Is it illegal for one partner in a business to take all money in joint checking account? ›

Under the law, all of the money in the account belongs to both partners. Not half. All.

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