Who owns the money in a couple’s joint account in the event of a separation?

Question to an expert

I separate, can I take back the money I deposited in my joint account?

Whatever the status (marriage, civil pact of solidarity or cohabitation) and property regime (community or separatist regime) they have chosen, many couples open a joint account to pay the expenses of their life together. This account can be funded by income (salaries, property income, etc.) or by personal funds from a property sale, a donation or inheritance.

In the event of a separation, the operation of such an account may raise questions, including that of knowing who owns the credit balance.

In principle, the money deposited in a joint account is pooled. This account indeed functions as a crucible where the money deposited by the members of the couple mixes, melts and is incorporated into the balance – what lawyers call the “novatory” effect of the bank account.

Split by half

As a result, for example, movable property acquired together during the joint life with the money from the joint account is deemed to belong to each of them by half, just like the credit balance of the joint account, which must be shared by half.

To oppose the distribution by half, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the credit balance of the joint account comes only from deposits made from personal funds. The traceability of the movement of funds will assume that the supporting documents have been kept.

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