When you share a bank account with another person, the funds are available to both you and the joint account holder. Both holders are responsible for any fees that accrue and maintaining a positive balance in the account. If you and the other account owner have a falling out, splitting the balance and closing the account might be the best action to take. Most banks typically allow either account holder to close the account without the consent of the other person. Most banks won't split the account for you, but you can do that after you close it.
Visit the bank that holds your joint account. Discuss your options with the personal banker, and ask to close the account. If transactions are pending on the account, you'll have to wait for these transactions to clear or leave enough money in the account to cover any outstanding checks, debits or fees.
Close the bank account and withdraw the money left in the account.
Open a new bank account in your name. Depending on its procedure, the bank might check your credit to make sure you're responsible enough to hold an account on your own. Deposit half the money in the new account.
Purchase a money order or cashier's check from a bank teller for the other half of the balance.
Mail the money order or cashier's check to the joint account owner.
If the bank allows you to remove your name from the account, you'll probably have to have the other party's consent. It is illegal to remove the other account holder from the account without his consent.
- Wells Fargo: Joint Checking Accounts
- Financial Web: How to Close a Joint Bank Account
- Banking Questions: Can Join Account Owner Remove Other Name?
- Bank of America. "Our First Bank Account." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "A Closer Look: Overdraft and the Impact of Opting-In," Page 1. Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Code of Virginia. "§ 6.2-606. Ownership During Lifetime; Garnishment, Attachment, or Levy." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Either Person on the Joint Account Generally Has the Right to Move Funds or Close the Account." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- University Credit Union. "Membership Agreement." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- BBT. "Bank Services Agreement," Page 7. Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "Opening and Closing Accounts Questions." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- GreenState Credit Union. "Closing Your Account." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Suntrust. "Rules and Regulations for Deposit Accounts," Page 28. Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Bank of America. "Telling Your Bank It’s Over." Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Washington and Lee Law Review. "Virginia's Equitable Distribution Law: An Owner's Manual," Page 9. Accessed April 20, 2020.
- If the bank allows you to remove your name from the account, you'll probably have to have the other party's consent.
- It is illegal to remove the other account holder from the account without his consent.
Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.