First Person: Why I Will Not Have Joint Accounts Ever Again

Yahoo Contributor Network

It sounds good in theory to have joint accounts with your husband or wife. When you get married, you want to share everything, right? But sometimes it is not a good idea to share your finances with someone else. Here's what happened to me and why I will never have joint accounts with anyone else ever again.

When we got married, my ex-husband and I got joint accounts for everything. We had a joint checking account, joint credit cards, and joint home loans. But that is what you're supposed to do when you get married, right?

The Credit Cards

When we got divorced my ex-husband did what I thought he would do, he spent thousands of dollars. The problem was, I was joint on several of the accounts that he decided to spend money on. According to the divorce decree, he was responsible for those accounts. I was able to get them removed from my credit but I was lucky that I was able to get that done. One of the creditors informed me that they do not recognize a divorce decree as getting me off the hook for the account. Luckily, I was able to fully explain the situation to them and I got it removed.

The House

Unfortunately, the headaches did not end there. My ex-husband and I were also joint on the loans for the house. This, of course, meant that we were both legally liable for those loans. We tried to sell the house but it did not sell because of the horrible housing market at the time. We owed more on the house than what it was worth. I moved back into the house to save it from foreclosure but my ex-husband would not sign over the house to me. So after months of fighting with him, I gave up and let the house be foreclosed on.

The overall lesson I learned from all of this is pretty simple: never sign your name to any account that you are not prepared to pay for in full. When you put your name on an account, that means that you are legally liable to pay back whatever money is loaned under that account, whether it be a credit card or a home loan. Because of this, I will never have joint accounts with anyone ever again. I do not want to be legally liable for money that they might spend.

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