You may suspect that no two divorces are the same. What you may not realize, though, is how much spouses’ income affects the health of their marriage and dictates how things unfold when it comes to an end.
Spouses of any means may feel the need to hide assets to protect what they believe is rightfully theirs when they divorce. A study from a few years ago by CreditCards.com revealed that at least 12 million Americans had either credit cards or bank accounts their partner was unaware of.
Does your lack of knowledge about your spouse’s financial situation make it more likely that they’re hiding assets from you than not?
What is financial infidelity?
Financial infidelity involves a husband or wife hiding assets to include money and valuable possessions, from their spouse. Researchers working on another study discovered that nearly half of Americans have engaged in financial infidelity at some point in their lives.
One common way they do this is by not keeping their partner in the loop about how much they earn at their job. The researchers discovered that at least 50% of spouses they polled didn’t know how much their spouse made within $25,000 of the amount.
Determining if your spouse has been financially dishonest
One of the first steps that you’ll want to take if you sense that divorce is on the horizon is to try to document any known assets your spouse may have. This may include:
- A second home, land or investment properties
- Income from their job or business
- Retirement plans
- Financial investment portfolios
Rounding up some documentation can be helpful. This should include recent tax returns and financial statements from banks, investment firms and credit card companies. Having this information on hand and understanding what it means are key to getting your fair share in future property division and spousal maintenance discussions.