How to Freeze a Joint Bank Account

Married couples create joint bank accounts for a variety of reasons. Some use their joint account strictly to pay their bills while others use the account to buy groceries, clothes, etc. Couples usually freeze a joint account when they go through a marital dispute. However, they also freeze their account for other reasons, such as irresponsible spending by one or both people. Freezing joint accounts is simple and fast.

Contact your bank. Ask them either over the phone or in person to freeze your joint account. You will be asked the account number and other identifying questions for security purposes.

After asking the bank to freeze your joint account, send them a letter telling them you wish the account to remain frozen until otherwise noted. The bank will have this letter as a record, in the event that any disputes arise. Include your account number, name and address in the letter.

Talk with your partner about what will happen with the frozen joint account. If you are getting divorced, agree on how much each person will get from the joint account, when to reopen it, etc. If you froze your account based on other issues, discuss with your partner when to reopen it and how to wisely use it.


  • Both people are not required to authorize the freezing of a joint account; one person can do it.