What kind of secrets is your spouse keeping from you? Forget about illicit romances, you probably ought to be worried that they have a hidden bank account, secret investments or a lot of undisclosed credit cards tucked away somewhere.
According to recent polls, 61% of people admit that they’re not exactly candid about their finances with their spouses. That’s called financial infidelity, and it can have serious consequences for a relationship, from trust issues to legal troubles.
What does financial infidelity look like?
Financial infidelity can take numerous different forms, but here are some of the most common:
- Hiding debts: Maybe one partner has a significant amount of credit card debt that they don’t want to discuss with their spouse. They may hide their credit card statements or lie about how much they owe – and they may have even lied about their debts during pre-marital discussions.
- Secret spending: Maybe one partner enjoys shopping, but their spouse doesn’t approve of their spending habits. Rather than addressing the issue head-on, the partner may begin hiding their purchases, sneaking shopping bags into the house when their spouse isn’t around, or lying about the cost of the items they buy.
- Bank accounts and investments: Maybe one partner has started to stockpile money or move marital funds into investments they’ve failed to mention to their spouse. They might be doing it to feel secure (especially if the other spouse is a “spender,”), or they might be “feathering their nest” because they’re planning on leaving.
Whatever the reason, hiding a bank account or credit card from a partner can lead to devastating financial consequences and significant trust issues — and that can lead to a divorce.
If that’s your situation, you’re not alone – but you do need to proceed cautiously. A spouse that’s shown every indication that they’re willing to lie to get their way about something or avoid direct conflict may also not be forthcoming about their financials during your divorce, either. Having experienced legal guidance is wise.