As you’ve undoubtedly heard, infidelity is one of the major reasons why married couples call it quits. Have you heard of the concept of financial infidelity, though? This concept refers to a spouse hiding their possessions, assets or money from their partner. Sadly, this practice is becoming increasingly popular in the United States — and it can be just as devastating to a marriage as romantic infidelity.
How big has financial infidelity become?
A recent MEL Magazine article highlighted how big of a problem financial infidelity has become in recent years. Data from CreditCard.com shows that as many as 12 million Americans have secret credit cards or bank accounts. A recent Harris poll shows that at least 42% of Americans aren’t aware of their spouse’s income, nor would they be able to come up with an estimate within $25,000 of the correct amount.
Why is financial infidelity such a big issue?
Money matters are one factor that often results in the demise of relationships. Many couples see honesty and trust as the cornerstone of a stable relationship. It hampers a couples’ ability to decide about retirement and spending habits when they can’t be upfront with one another about their finances.
Financial infidelity, including hidden assets, can cause problems when couples divorce. It can make it difficult for an attorney to sort out what assets are on the chopping block when negotiating a settlement.
Offshore money and assets can be hard to track down, making it even more difficult for a spouse to stake a claim on them. The lower-income earning spouse and the dependent kids end up with far less than they should as a result.
Can you uncover hidden assets in a divorce?
Most attorneys who work with affluent clients are keen on performing financial investigations. One of the easiest places to start is with tax returns. Tracking down bank statements and business filing documents may be more difficult as you’d need to know who your spouse is doing business with and where to initiate such a search.
The uncertainty that you face as you navigate a divorce can be challenging. A divorce attorney who has experience in guiding other West Palm Beach spouses in similar situations can make things easier on you. Your lawyer will know the signs of financial infidelity and where to look for those hidden assets that your ex intends to keep from you and your kids.