What Is Financial Infidelity and How It Can Affect Your Divorce

For many couples contemplating divorce (or in the throes of a dissolution) money is likely the root of their problems. Many times it is because they don’t have enough money to make ends meet, and that leads to the relationship deteriorating. Other times it is because of financial infidelity; essentially the act of being untruthful or unfaithful about money.

Either way, financial deception can be an important issue when it comes to divorce. If it is found that joint funds were misappropriated, the spouse who dissipated funds could be forced to pay them back or could have them deducted from their share of the marital estate. Also, if it is found that a spouse fraudulently detailed their assets in the course of mediation or arbitration, the agreement (or the decision) could be thrown out and the case reopened.

Because of this, it is important to know when financial infidelity has been committed. This post will highlight some common instances.

Financial issues that don’t make sense – If you or your spouse run a successful business but never seem to have enough money, it may be more than just a spending issue. Your spouse could be hiding money.

No access to financial statements – If your spouse is evasive or defensive about you seeing financial statements, such as investment details, credit card statements, or bank statements, there may be something that he or she does not want you to see. Chances are that there are instances of financial infidelity being hidden.

Secret payments to the family – It is one thing to help family members who are down on their luck, it is quite another to funnel secret payments to family or transfer business interests to reduce one’s net worth in anticipation of divorce.