When secrets come to light during the divorce process, those revelations can have a significant impact on your life. This is especially true if your spouse has kept aspects of your finances secret from you, and these secrets can have a long-term impact on your financial health. How common is financial secrecy in relationships?
How common are financial secrets between spouses?
Hiding financial information or “financially cheating” is surprisingly common and can take many forms — including keeping debts or credit cards a secret from their spouse or hiding a bank account. In fact, as many as one in three Americans admit to keeping financial secrets from their partner, with 44 percent of surveyed Americans financially cheating in 2020.
How can these financial secrets impact you in divorce?
Fair division of your property and debts in divorce often depends on having a full understanding of your finances. If your spouse hides assets, transfers them to another person to avoid dividing them in divorce, or claims that they were lost, this could mean that the court divides only part of your possessions. As a result, you might receive less than your fair share of your marital assets.
On the other hand, hidden debts could lead to unpleasant surprises during a divorce. You may find yourself liable for debts your spouse created during your marriage, and those debts could create significant challenges as you start the next chapter of your life.
If you believe that your spouse has kept financial secrets, it is important to take steps to document your finances. This documentation can help you fully understand your financial situation and create a strategy that reflects the true state of your marital property.