Q: My wife and I have joint checking and savings accounts, but I also have my own personal savings account at a different institution. Since we’re married, can my spouse access my bank account without my permission?
A: It’s not uncommon for people to have their own bank accounts that their spouses may or may not know about. However, whether or not you’re committing financial infidelity, know that your spouse cannot access your money if it’s not in a joint bank account.
If you have a personal savings account and are the only name on the account, legally your spouse cannot access your savings account without your permission. Only the person authorized to sign on the account is allowed access to the funds on deposit. If your spouse tries to access the account, the bank should notify you.
If you have your money stored in a joint savings account with your spouse, then it is technically their account, too. Thus, they are legally allowed access to make deposits and withdrawals from the account without the bank having to notify you of the transaction.
Keep in mind, if you were to divorce, you would have to disclose any personal accounts you have. Depending on your particular situation, your spouse may be entitled to some or all of that money. Hopefully, though, that’s not a situation you’ll ever have to address.