Two Decades Of Florida Family Law Experience

How to protect your finances from an irresponsible spouse

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Divorce

If talking to your spouse about their financial irresponsibility didn’t work, then you will probably have no choice but to either keep your finances separate or divorce them. Florida has laws against dissipation, which is when a spouse wastes money through gambling, drugs or false investments. Dissipation also includes destroying personal property that has a high value. You should take steps to protect your finances when your spouse refuses to fix their poor money habits.

Close joint credit cards

When one person no longer wants the credit card open on a joint credit card, they can close it. Send the company a certified letter after closing your credit card to clearly confirm you have no interest in financial responsibility for that card. You are still jointly liable for the debts up until the point of closing it, but you should be safe from your spouse’s continued spending through credit cards.

Bank accounts

Protecting your bank accounts is trickier. Some people empty the account when they want a divorce as a way of protecting their money but doing so could get you into legal trouble. Consult with a lawyer to know what to do to protect your money when you have joint bank accounts or investment accounts.

Set up a PO box for your mail

When you separate your finances from your spouse, it’s important to protect your mail from them. You can set up your own PO box to have peace of mind that your spouse isn’t stealing your mail.

Monitor your credit

Obtain a copy of your credit report to uncover any hidden financial accounts and debts your spouse may have. Your spouse could destroy your credit if you don’t monitor what’s going on with it. Separating your finances is necessary to protect your credit score and your finances. Assuming you don’t have a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise, you are jointly responsible for debts that your spouse accumulated during your marriage.

Protecting your money from an irresponsible or vindictive spouse isn’t easy when you have joint accounts. It’s helpful to ask a divorce lawyer or a financial advisor what you can do.