Spouses aren’t always honest with one another. One form of deceit that shows up in a fair number of American marriages is financial infidelity. This is when a person lies about financial matters to his or her spouse.
There are a wide range of reasons that people may try to hide things from their partner on the money front. It can be for seemingly innocent purposes, such as trying to get one’s spouse a surprise gift. It might be to try to conceal something one feels embarrassed about, such as a debt or a gambling problem. Sometimes, malicious motives are at play, such as a desire to assert power or control within a relationship.
Dishonesty when it comes to money matters can cause significant trouble for a married couple. It could impact their financial future. It could also weaken the marriage, possibly increasing its chances of breaking down.
Different types of financial infidelity vary in how toxic they would be to a relationship. But even relatively “innocent” money lies could lead to significant problems for a marriage. This is because when it comes to financial infidelity, it can be very easy for a person to get in much deeper than he or she was initially planning. Relatively small lies could open the door to bigger or more frequent ones in the future.
So, it can be very important for spouses to be honest with each other about money issues and avoid temptations to engage in financial infidelity.
Spouses also may be tempted to tell financial lies when getting divorced. For one, they might think about hiding assets to try to lower what their ex-spouse would get in a property division settlement.
It is critical for divorcing spouses to avoid this temptation. Asset hiding and similar financial dishonesty, in addition to opening the door to unfairness in a divorce, could expose a person to significant consequences. Courts may take very strong action against such concealment when it is detected.
Also, when divorcing, it can be important for a person to keep an eye out for red flags that his or her spouse could be engaging in such financial dishonesty. Skilled divorce attorneys can help individuals with watching for warning signs.