If you have a gut feeling that your spouse is being secretive about money, you may have a case of financial infidelity on your hands. Financial infidelity occurs if couples who have combined finances lie to one another about money-related matters. One or both spouses can sometimes be dishonest about their finances, especially when the marriage is nearing the end.
Some examples of financial infidelity include extreme spending without telling the other spouse, lying about how money is being spent, or hiding debts. While it is normal for a spouse to spend some money without seeking approval, large debts and similar major financial changes should be discussed prior to undertaking the expense in a healthy marriage.
Signs of Financial Infidelity
How can you know if your spouse is hiding purchases, debts, or bank accounts from you? Here are some signs of financial infidelity to look out for:
- Defensive behavior when money is discussed
- Hiding statements from financial institutions
- Large or unexpected withdrawals from joint bank accounts
- Expensive gifts
- Excessive trips to casinos
These are just a few examples. You should have a serious conversation with your spouse first, and then a divorce attorney in Huntsville (or wherever it is that you reside) if you believe that there may be dishonesty at play. Such instances of financial infidelity can be used to exhibit fault or otherwise help one side over another in a divorce proceeding. It is important to determine these things prior to starting a divorce since your spouse will be more inclined to hide such evidence when the divorce begins.
If you believe that your spouse is incurring debt or otherwise spending or saving money without your knowledge, then you can inquire on your own or hire a private investigator to look into it. Spending extravagant amounts from the marital account without your knowledge is just one example of activity that could be considered financial infidelity. There are many other instances mentioned in the list above, but if your spouse will not rehabilitate their behavior then you may need to consider whether to stay in the marriage or not. Sometimes confronting your spouse is a good idea prior to making any such decisions, but this depends on your particular circumstances.
If you have made a determination that you may no longer be able to stay married, then a local divorce law firm can help you figure out any next steps that you may want to take. If your spouse is being continuously dishonest, or you just cannot agree on finances, it may be time to consider filing a divorce.
Steven Harris is a family law & divorce attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He lives with his lovely wife of fifteen years and regularly writes informative articles online about domestic relations law and other related topics. You can follow him on Twitter @theharrisfirm.