Whenever a couple is thinking about separating, the issue of how to divide the money is always contentious.  It is especially bad if one person wants the divorce/separation, but the other does not.  In some situations, one spouse threatens to empty the bank accounts or cut off support to the other spouse if they leave.

In situations like these, I highly recommend seeking out the services of a lawyer who can assist you to make the proper choices and protect yourself legally.  The choices you make at the beginning of a case can have a profound impact on how your case resolves.  Some people have heard the term “freezing accounts” and believe that this could be a viable option for them.  For most people, however, it is not.  If you decide to freeze a bank account, you must understand that there are serious ramifications.  What if you or your spouse must access that money to pay bills or even your mortgage?  What if you don’t have any other choice but to begin using credit cards, and you have no way to make the payment on them?

Within a very short period of time, you could be looking at a foreclosure of your home, and ruined credit.  This was not the goal in freezing an account – but this is often what results.  Many people do not understand that by freezing an account so that one spouse does not have access to it, you are also closing off your access to the account.  If will look as if someone just emptied your account and there is nothing short of a court order that can be done to change anything.

Bottom line – freezing accounts is probably not a good option.  It is there for very isolated cases, but make sure to talk to a lawyer about other options first.