My ex-wife is no longer on my checking account, but I have still been using the checks with no problem. Her name is written below mine. I want to know if I take a marker and black out her name will the bank think something is fishy and deny it? Doesn't really seem like an important part of the check. Yes, I know I could just keep doing what works until the checks are used up, but in this case I would like to marker her name out.

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    Can you add country tag – Dheer May 9 '17 at 14:58
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    I'm guessing US just by the way OP spelled "check". – Rocky May 9 '17 at 16:11
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    For what it's worth, when I got checks, I had them made with only my name on the top. No address or phone number or anything. I knew I would move, and I only use like 10 checks a year so made them as generic as possible. The bank only cares about the numbers on the bottom... I've never had an issue. – JPhi1618 May 9 '17 at 17:59
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    People still use checks? ;) – Joe May 9 '17 at 18:00
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    Can't you just ask for a new chequebook? – Lightness Races in Orbit May 9 '17 at 20:54

If it were me, I would get a new checking account at potentially a new bank, but certainly with a new account number.

As Nathan said, there is no need for you to cross her name off the check, but potentially, she could use those checks, or have new checks printed to use. Having her name on the check makes it seem like she is a legitimate signer on the account.

In the end you can fight and possibly win with your bank that they should not have accepted a check signed by her as payment, but why bother? Also you will potentially alienate any merchant that accepts a check by her. It is a total mess that can be relatively easily solved with very little money ($25-$40 for check reprinting) proactively.

Close the account, shred any existing checks, and move on. Heck you can actually make money by doing this and receiving a bonus. Check Nerd Wallet for current bank promotions.

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    +1 for closing this account and opening a new one. It's a cheap way to ensure there are no lingering issues like automatic payments you forgot to cancel that you no longer need. The printed name on the check is probably a non-issue. – Rocky May 9 '17 at 16:11
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    Not sure how I feel about the NerdWallet promo at the end of the answer. – Joe May 9 '17 at 18:00
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    @njzk2 She most certainly could have checks printed. Check printing companies do little to (usually) no verification that you actually have the right to ask for the check to be printed. – Joe May 9 '17 at 18:01
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    @njzk2 There are LOADS of third party check printers. google.com/#q=custom+checks In fact, your bank probably contracts to one of them. – quid May 9 '17 at 18:35
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    @smci Checking accounts have no bearing on one's credit score, at least in the United States, where the asker appears to be from. – user2752467 May 10 '17 at 1:05

If it doesn't seem that important, why bother blacking the name out? For the effort, it might cost you less in your time to have the checks reprinted.

There's no way to know what all banks would do with a check that has a name crossed out, but most would ignore it. Most checks are processed automatically. Signatures are not verified, post-dated checks can usually still be deposited. Occasionally you'll have a bank or merchant reject a check, but don't expect that to be the norm.


For what it's worth, 20 years ago I had a huge box of sheet-feed checks (3 or 4 per sheet) - After the divorce I kept the account, then ran the remaining checks through a Word doc that tidily blacked out the ex's name. Never had a hitch, glitch, or rejected check.

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    Your profile now has 'divorce' listed as a top tag :( – Michael May 10 '17 at 13:24
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    Except 20 years ago 95+% of your checks went to large institutions most people now e-pay, and those are the folks that don't inspect much. Nowadays my rare paper checks go to small outfits who would be more likely to eyeball. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 10 '17 at 16:27

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