Upon reading the title you, the reader, may think the questions result in the same answer. If you're more acerbic in your disposition, you might describe the questions as dumb. Alas, the law shakes its finger at you in a corrective wag.
Joint bank accounts are extremely common and should be. An account with just one person's name on it is subject to probate claims and other administrative problems. 99% of the time you can trust the other person on the account. But, lawyers don't make a living because everyone gets along perfectly. So, what happens when one person decides to gut the account?
On a joint bank account, the parties own the money in proportion to their contribution to the account. A single account holder can spend the other person's portion of the account, so long as there is consent to the expenditure. For example, Billy Boyfriend and Gloria Girlfriend decide they are meant to be together forever. Unfortunately for Gloria Girlfriend, she is rich and Billy Boyfriend's only valuable asset is personality. Being a trusting partner, Gloria Girlfriend deposits $100,000.00 into a joint account in both their names. The money is traceable to Gloria Girlfriend and she tells Billy Boyfriend he can spend the money on their rent, buying Gloria clothes, and betting on horses. Billy Boyfriend decides though that someone with his personality deserves an equally charming car, so he uses the bank account funds to buy a luxury car. Gloria Girlfriend decides Billy Boyfriend's personality is not enough and dumps him, thereupon learning the joint account is down to $100.00.
Here, Gloria Girlfriend has a very strong case against Billy Boyfriend despite both names being on the account. Causes of action such as civil theft, conversion, and unjust enrichment are the most readily identifiable claims. So long as Gloria can serve Billy in Hugo or Stillwater or wherever he lives after being dumped, she can sue him to recover her money...but not her broken heart.
Joint bank accounts are just an example; too often if you think you know the answer to a question, you might want to consider that in respect to the law you may not really know the whole answer. That is why I am here to help and happy to do so.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. All information contained in links are the property of the linked site.