Standing Orders usually preclude a party from altering the status of credit card accounts. Further, whenever you take unilateral action that alters the financial status quo, it must be reasonable and intended to protect the marital estate rather than punish the other spouse.

If your experience with your spouse leads you to believe he/she will run up the credit card bills, it may make sense to cut off the accounts. If it is unlikely that your spouse will misuse the line of credit available, closing the account would be unwise.

If you do close accounts, the credit card firms will generally require that the account be completely closed (i.e., neither spouse will be able to charge to the account) and a new account be opened in the name of one party only. Any existing balance on the old account will be transferred to the new account.