What to do with children’s accounts and savings if you separate

Any money or savings in your child’s name belong to them and not to you or your ex-partner. But you might need to tell the bank, building society or the government about changes to your circumstances.

What counts as children’s accounts or savings?

Children’s accounts or savings include:

  • Junior ISAs
  • Child Trust Funds
  • National Savings
  • A bank or building society account in your child’s name
  • Children’s Bonds

Children’s accounts and jointly-held finances

Money in a child’s account belongs to the child.

But be aware that some people pay money into a child’s account, without ever intending to pass it onto the child. Others take money from their child’s account.

If you’re getting divorced or dissolving your civil partnership, there are very limited circumstances when children’s savings might be included in the financial assets to be split.

If, for example, your ex-husband, wife or civil partner deliberately put their own money into your child’s account to stop you getting it.

Are you worried that your ex-partner might take money from your child’s account? Then you can ask the bank or building society to put a temporary freeze on the account.

It’s important to get professional advice if you’re not sure what to do.

Telling the bank or building society you’ve changed address

If you're the named contact on your child's account and are moving address, make sure you let them know – for example, the bank or building society.

And if your child is old enough to run their account in their own name, make sure they tell the bank or building society their new address, if they're moving.

They might be able to do this online or over the phone.

Changing the registered contact

You might decide that you'd like to change the name of the person who's the registered contact.

If you want to do this, you'll usually have to phone the Child Trust Fund or Junior ISA provider, or fill in a ‘registered contact removal form’.

The process might vary from provider to provider, and both you and your ex-partner might have to sign the form to say you agree to the change.

Child Trust Funds

If your child was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, they're likely to have a Child Trust Fund account.

This is a long-term, tax-free savings account, where the government gave all children a voucher which they could pay into their account.

No new Child Trust Funds are being issued. But, the registered contact, other family members and friends can continue to add to the account until the child reaches 18.

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs have replaced Child Trust Funds. They’re available to children under the age of 18 who don’t qualify for a Child Trust Fund.

Like Child Trust Funds, they’re long-term, tax-free savings accounts.

You can switch money between different Junior ISA providers.

And, if your child has a Child Trust Fund, you can transfer the money into a Junior ISA. The benefit of doing this is that some Junior ISA providers pay a higher interest rate than is available on Child Trust Funds.

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