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What behaviors constitute financial infidelity?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Divorce |

Discussions about marital infidelity typically focus on sexual contact. The physical act of intimacy between a married person and an outside party does irrevocable damage to a marital relationship. Emotional infidelity or the process of growing closer to someone other than a spouse can also do major harm to a marital relationship.

Spouses often monitor each other to watch for warning signs of unfaithfulness. They might fail to recognize the risk of financial infidelity. The concept of financial infidelity confuses people, but it can have a profound impact on marriage and divorce. Many people decide to end a marriage because of financial infidelity. Financial infidelity can also directly influence the outcome of divorce proceedings.

Financial infidelity involves economic dishonesty

Financial infidelity comes in many forms. Spouses generally share their resources and have a degree of responsibility for one another’s financial obligations. Typically, spouses should prioritize being open and honest with one another about their financial circumstances.

However, some people do not honestly communicate with their spouses about their assets, income, spending habits or financial obligations. Financial infidelity often involves the intentional misrepresentation of personal resources.

One spouse may fail to tell the other the truth about their income and might consistently transfer a portion of their paycheck to a different account before depositing the remainder into a shared financial account. The spouse unaware of the other’s income and resources might fail to seek a fair divorce outcome because they are unfamiliar with the true extent of the marital estate.

Other times, financial infidelity might look like one spouse hiding their debt from the other. They might open a new line of credit while married in only their own name and spend thousands of dollars shopping online or purchasing prestige items without paying for them in full. The spouse inappropriately spending without disclosing their habits might then try to force the other spouse to pay for a portion of those debts when they divorce.

Spouses should be honest about their financial circumstances with each other. Substantial misrepresentations about finances can cause major harm both to the spouse unaware of the circumstances and the marital relationship overall. Financial infidelity has become a top cause of divorce, as people do not want to be accountable for their spouses’ shopping habits or gambling.

Those who understand the impacts that financial infidelity could have on a marriage and/or divorce may feel more confident about their decision to file for divorce. Keeping a close eye on household finances is important for anyone who has combined their life with a spouse’s. Getting personalized legal guidance can also help divorcing spouses to better ensure that they receive a fair settlement despite the misconduct of their former partner.