Written by Brenden Kennedy

Financial Infidelity: Lying About Money Can Result in Divorce

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Financial infidelity can ruin a marriage. This type of behavior shows disregard for the trust and communication necessary for a healthy relationship. When one partner is making financial moves without the other knowing about it, the devious behavior can result in divorce.

If you’ve tried everything to fix your marriage but you’ve concluded that the relationship is beyond repair, you may feel like getting a divorce might be the only option. Accepting that your marriage is over can be difficult. Collaborative divorce is a private, out-of-court process that can provide a path to a peaceful divorce even if you and your spouse are not necessarily in agreement on financial and child-related issues coming into the process.

Here are the warning signs of financial infidelity and what you can do if you suspect your partner is lying about money.

What is Financial Infidelity?

Financial infidelity is the act being secretive about of spending money, holding stashes of money or secret accounts, possessing undisclosed credit cards, borrowing sums of money, or otherwise spending money or incurring financial debt without your spouse’s knowledge.

According to an academic study performed by Nefe [1], “41% of American adults admit to committing financial infidelity against their spouse. About 75% of adults state financial infidelity has affected their affected their relationship“.

Warning Signs Your Spouse is Committing Financial Infidelity

Do you catch your spouse lying to other people about income or expenditures? When you try to talk with your husband or wife about money, does he or she refuse to discuss or become defensive? This may be a sign of a hidden spending problem.

Sometimes, spouses will feel guilty or embarrassed about their spending habits and will try to lie about it to cover it up. If you are asking simple questions about your shared finances and are met with anger or suspicion, this might be a sign your partner is hiding something.

If you are noticing a lot of new clothes or gadgets being purchased by your spouse that they didn’t tell you about, it could be a red flag that your spouse is racking up credit card debt or spending money behind your back. The money must come from somewhere – but if your partner doesn’t mention where, its likely they don’t want you to know.

There are some cases where couples spend money out of spite. If one spouse feels like they aren’t getting enough attention from the other, they may go on a spending spree to try to fill the void. Or if one spouse has made a purchase for himself or herself, the other may feel entitled to make a similar purchase to “even things out.”

However, financial infidelity isn’t always on purpose. Not everyone feels comfortable talking about money. Sometimes people will lie just to avoid talking about it, especially if they are embarrassed about some aspect of their financial habits. Communication is the key to solving the problem of financial infidelity.

What to Do When Your Spouse Lies About Money?

Is financial infidelity grounds for divorce? According to McNamee Mediations, “For many people, discovering that their spouse has committed financial infidelity is the reason why they file for divorce. But this deceitful act does not only cause divorce, it also makes the divorce process a lot more complicated than it should be.

Don’t go out and file for divorce just yet. As mentioned above, communication is the key to addressing the problem with financial infidelity. You can avoid fights about finances when there is clear communication and compromise. Many experts recommend that ocnversations about finances happen before a couple moves in together or gets married.

But what if you are already married and don’t communicate about finances very often? Starting a conversation about money is not easy, especially if you’ve never talked to your spouse about it before.

Don’t jump in with the hard-hitting questions right away. Start out with easy topics like long-term goals and work your way towards harder ones like credit histories, assets, and debts. Try to understand where your partner is coming from and be supportive when they tell you their reasoning behind certain money habits. It’s important to be supportive as you want your partner to be truthful about their spending habits. It may hurt to hear your spouse has awful credit or a great deal of debt, but it’s more conducive to a healthy relationship when the two of you communicate openly about finances.

Sources:

  1. “Celebrate Relationships, But Beware of Financial Infidelity.” NEFE, https://www.nefe.org/press-room/polls/2018/celebrate-relationships-but-beware-of-financial-infideltiy.aspx.
  2. Noguchi, Yuki. “Keeping Money Secrets From Each Other: Financial Infidelity On The Rise.” NPR, NPR, 29 Apr. 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/716452865/keeping-money-secrets-from-each-other-financial-infidelity-on-the-rise.
  3. Hamm, Trent. “Ten Red Flags of Financial Infidelity and What to Do About It.” The Simple Dollar, 10 Apr. 2019, https://www.thesimpledollar.com/ten-red-flags-of-financial-infidelity-and-what-to-do-about-it/.
  4. Livingston, Amy, et al. “How to Deal with a Lying Spouse – Financial Infidelity in Marriage.” Money Crashers, 22 May 2019, https://www.moneycrashers.com/lying-spouse-financial-infidelity-marriage/.
  5. Chatzky, Jean. “Financial Infidelity: Why We Lie about Money and How to Solve the Problem.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 22 Jan. 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/financial-infidelity-when-walk-away-when-work-things-out-ncna961411.

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Collaborative Divorce is a Peaceful Divorce Option

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.

OUR PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP WITH THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IN ARIZONA!

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.