You’ve likely heard of infidelity motivating spouses to divorce. But there is also financial infidelity, which can also have devastating effects on the marriage and its aftermath.
One form of financial infidelity involves a spouse purposely hiding valuable assets from the other. Financial infidelity is a growing concern that affects property division discussions in the U.S.
How big of an issue is financial infidelity in the U.S.?
An estimated 12 million respondents to a Credicards.com poll admitted to having either credit cards or bank accounts of which their spouses were unaware. At least 50% of Harris poll respondents said they didn’t know their spouse’s salary and couldn’t guess it within $25,000 of the amount.
Why it’s bad not to know about your spouse’s finances
You may be of the school of thought that what your spouse earns and does with their money is their own business. That may not be the ideal perspective to have when it comes time to divorce, though.
It can be challenging to determine your household’s spending habits, debts, and assets if you don’t know how much money is coming and going through each other’s hands. This lack of transparency can lead to lopsided divorce settlements in the end.
How to uncover all of your spouse’s assets and debts
If you found it challenging to get your spouse to share details about their finances while things were running smoothly in your relationship, then it’s only going to be worse now that you’re planning to divorce.
You may want to start by reviewing your joint tax returns to determine your spouse’s income, whether from their job, real estate or ownership stake in a business. You may also want to look for any interest or dividends from banking or investment accounts.
It may also help if you peruse state secretary of state records to check on your spouse’s corporate affiliations. Researching county real estate records for their name listed as a property owner may be helpful as well.
How to proceed with your divorce
You don’t want your spouse to walk away from your marriage with better financial prospects than you do. You should have an attorney who has experience in amassing hidden assets to help you sort out your Waukesha divorce so that you’re not ending up with the short end of the proverbial financial stick in the end.