Financial Infidelity Is a Leading Cause of Divorce in the U.S.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst professionals recently revealed the leading causes of divorce, and listed money problems as the cause of 22% of marriage dissolutions, falling close behind incompatibility and infidelity.
Our San Bernardino divorce attorney knows money issues can come in each of the latter forms, too.
When married couples lack the communication skills to navigate financial disagreements, these arguments can cause a significant emotional disconnection due to each spouse’s incompatible views on how important money is. This is especially true when one spouse is a free spender and the other a dedicated saver.
Financial infidelity is a serious problem too and can lead to deeper trust issues when one spouse is cheating on the other with money — either by secretly saving it or spending it.
What Is Financial Infidelity?
Financial infidelity can range from undisclosed income or assets and hidden bank accounts to unaccounted for credit cards and secret spending.
A recent study exposed that:
- 44% of Americans admit to financial infidelity against their spouses
- 17% of Americans keep a secret bank account their spouses are not aware of
- 12% of Americans carry secret debt their spouse does not know exists
Love and finances are closely intertwined because they both involve trust and honesty. When that is breached in any capacity, the emotional repercussions can be difficult to overcome.
The same study released by the CDFA stated 27% of adults said it is easier to forgive an affair over a financially unfaithful relationship.
The truth is, financial infidelity can often lead to financial hardship, which catches the other spouse by surprise. When one person in the marriage has a compulsion like a gambling or shopping problem, the issue becomes much deeper than missing or hidden funds. It can require a deep, hard look into the marriage’s overall stability.
Other times, financial infidelity is hard to overcome because of the dishonesty behind the act. Lying to a spouse — about anything, including money — is another sign that something is wrong in the relationship. That reality can be hard for many relationships to overcome.
Understand Your Marital Finances Before You Say “I Do” with a Prenuptial Agreement
One of the easiest ways some spouses commit financial infidelity is by simply keeping their finances separate.
With the rise in two-income households in California and throughout the United States, more married couples are splitting their expenses by financial design.
One spouse may pay all the bills, while the other writes a check to the payer for his or her half.
Some spouses may keep their income, savings, and investments separate, and share an account where deposits are made for monthly bills and other obligations or savings through an agreed upon amount.
Other spouses may pay bills directly from their accounts, for their share of the expenses, never exposing the other person to their balances or other expenditures.
While each couple’s financial decisions are unique to their relationship, the one thing that will keep either from committing financial infidelity is to be upfront and transparent about their incomes and spending.
At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our family law attorney in San Bernardino County provides the representation couples need to fully disclose their financial standing, including assets and debts, which will allow them to start their marriage off on a clear path of financial trust.
Prenuptial agreements do more than provide full financial disclosure from both parties that will strengthen the marital bond and allow the couple to plan their future. Prenuptial agreements also protect the equitable distribution agreement that is designed from the start of the couple’s union, which leaves each person confident in their financial standing, should the marriage dissolve for any other reason.
If you are interested in a prenuptial agreement or are seeking a divorce due to financial infidelity — or any other basis — contact our San Bernardino divorce attorney at (909) 889-7111 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and how our law firm can design solutions for your unique circumstances.