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What about joint or separate bank accounts, in a relationship?

There are pros and cons for both.

Having separate bank accounts does not mean that money remains separate if the relationship ends. 

Money in individual bank accounts could still be considered relationship property under the law.

Below is some information to consider when working out the right bank accounts for your financial future.

Joint or Separate Accounts

Joint or Separate Accounts

What about joint or separate bank accounts, in a relationship?

There are pros and cons for both.

Having separate bank accounts does not mean that money remains separate if the relationship ends. 

Money in individual bank accounts could still be considered relationship property under the law.

Below is some information to consider when working out the right bank accounts for your financial future.

Separate accounts

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Separate accounts can provide more individual control and autonomy. However, they can reinforce power imbalances by creating a sense of exclusion or mistrust, especially if one partner earns more than the other or is secretive with spending.

Separate accounts can be useful for discretionary spending, that is, money you can call your own.

This can work really well in a relationship when agreed by both parties and used alongside a budgeting plan that includes managing debt and shared bill payments.

Joint accounts

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Joint accounts can be good for mutual planning, limiting arguments about who’s paying and determining what things are considered shared expenses.

Putting resources together can simplify things so nothing is left to chance or gets paid twice. It’s easy for each partner to get an overview of total finances.

However, there is a lack of privacy (if you want to make a purchase without oversight), both are liable for any overdraft and one person could empty the account of funds if they wanted.

Being transparent and involving both partners in financial decision-making reduces the chances of behaviours such as financial abuse or financial infidelity (lying, hiding or withholding information from a partner).

Make sure you understand the difference between joint and separate bank accounts from a banking and legal perspective – your bank will be able to provide this information

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26th November 2022
Join us to celebrate and raise awareness of the work that’s making a difference so people experiencing economic harm can access support when they need it.
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