I would like to know if it is legal for my husband to open a new account with only his name on it?

We have been married 15 years and have 6 children. He has always been our only source of income as I have been a stay-at-home mom. He opened the account a month ago in only his name and has his check directly deposited and denies me any access to it. Is this legal and if not what can I do? 

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal, in the sense that there is no law requiring a spouse to only open joint accounts or otherwise make his/her spouse a signatory on bank accounts. He is allowed to open an account in only his name.

While you are still married, there is probably nothing you can do--the law does not tell married people how to order their relationship, finances, or lives, for the most part. If you divorce him, you will be entitled to a share  of marital assets, no matter what account they are in, and will have legal tools and processes to discover what is in this, or any other accounts (or property) in only his name. You may wish to consult with a family or divorce law attorney.

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