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What happens to a joint French bank account during a divorce?

We get guidance on how to protect your money in a joint account when going through a separation or divorce

The process to separate a joint bank account is called ‘désolidarisation’ in French Pic: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock

You can separate a joint bank account through a process called désolidarisation

It is generally recommended to do this as soon as possible, without waiting for the divorce to be finalised.

Read more: British woman's warning over spouse's right to her French bank account

What does désolidarisation do?

You can do this by sending a registered letter with a delivery receipt to your bank. 

If both parties agree to this, it will either be closed or transformed into an individual account.

If, however, only one person wants to close the account, it will remain open, but transactions will require both parties’ signatures.

Read more: A guide to understanding divorce in France

Take action immediately

Either way, it is important to take action to prevent an ex-partner being able to empty the account.

Lawyer Marie-Pierre Lazard said:  “A spouse who tries to spend or hide money, or to avoid saying how much they own, is something you find in many divorce proceedings.” 

Read more: Securing sole ownership of a house in France from an ex

Divorce does not revoke power of attorney

If during the marriage you gave power of attorney to your spouse to undertake transactions using your personal bank account, this will have to be revoked, again by writing to your bank.

The power of attorney is not automatically cancelled in the event of a divorce.

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