Not long ago, Prince sent me an Our Family Wizard e-mail suggesting it was time to take my name off our joint checking account.
Let me explain.
The only thing I requested in our prenup was that we open a joint checking account in which $3000 was deposited every month. When we got divorced, Prince insisted that we keep the joint checking account open so he could easily transfer in support payments from one of his plethora of secret checking accounts.
“If you make me mail you a check, I can’t guarantee that it will arrive on time, given my work schedule.” he said.
That statement was a riot. One, because he didn’t work. And two, because I still had to grovel for child support every month.
So why all the fuss about keeping our joint account open?
Apparently, so he could monitor my spending habits.
Because I am not machiavellian, and, in hindsight, really kind of oblivious, this light didn’t dawn on me until the aforementioned OFW, in which Prince passive-aggressively referenced the dollar amount I had recently deposited into the account. The thought that I have ANY money at all, and am not prostrate on the roadside selling strawberries, is just too much for him to bear.
I’m not sure why Prince decided it was time to close the checking account, but he was right: now that he no longer paid child support, there was no need to keep it open.
But I didn’t want to close it. I wanted to take his name off it. I wanted to put the checking account that I’d had for almost 20 years in my name only. For almost 20 years, ten of them post-marriage, Prince had controlled my money. Now, it was time to take control back.
Getting his name off the account was a Herculean rigamarole involving a notary, several bank officers, and other elements that are too boring to go into. But after a few weeks, the task was finally completed.
My new checks arrived in the mail this week. When I saw my name printed in the top left corner, I basked in its singular simplicity.
It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. The checking account that used to be ours is now mine.
Today, I’m thankful for my separate checking account.