If you suspect that your spouse is lying to you about money or your financial well-being, you may be worried about financial infidelity. Learn more about this troubling issue affecting millions of marriages, warning signs to look out for, and what you can do.
If financial troubles have pushed your marriage to the breaking point and you’re considering divorce, it never hurts to find out what your options are. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-803-3500 to set up a consultation now.
What is Financial Infidelity?
First, you may be wondering what financial infidelity is if this term is new to you. It isn’t a matter of forgetting to tell your spouse about the occasional purchase or hiding a gift from them during the holidays. Financial infidelity is the intentional decision to keep your spouse in the dark regarding your financial well-being, how much money you’re earning, how much money you are spending, or where your money is going. If your intuition is telling you something is up, watch out for these warning signs.
Has your spouse had lots of unexplained purchases lately? If they’ve been bringing home new items for their hobby, going out to eat way more than your budget allows, or even splurging on gifts for you, that may be a warning sign.
In some cases, this type of spending may be indicative of a secret credit card or a big raise that your spouse has hidden from you. It’s perfectly acceptable for spouses to keep their finances separate, but it is not okay for them to lie about their finances. It’s even more worrisome if your spouse attempts to hide these purchases from you and you have to find out about them through receipts and trash.
Statements for Unfamiliar Cards or Accounts
If your spouse starts receiving monthly mail from a bank you aren’t familiar with, it may be time to dig a little deeper. Hidden cards and accounts could be a sign of a spending problem or addiction that your spouse is attempting to hide from you. In some cases, it is a genuine attempt to fix their debt issues without involving you. In others, it is an attempt to have the freedom to spend as they choose without being held accountable for it.
Secrecy Around Phone or Mail
Any type of secrecy can be problematic in a marriage. If your spouse is particularly protective of their cell phone or their mail, be wary. If they fly to the mailbox every day the second the postman leaves, they could be hiding new cards or statements from you. If they are hiding their phone from you, they may be attempting to hide notifications from a new account’s banking app. Either situation calls for an open discussion.
Sudden Change in Spending Habits
We touched on this earlier, but it deserves more explanation. If your spouse significantly changes their spending habits, you may need to talk to them about what is going on. Are they suddenly cutting way back, refusing to spend money even on necessary things?
Do they suddenly seem to have tons of extra money that they’re willing to throw around like confetti? In the first scenario, they could be trying to get out of debt by cutting back or they may be funneling money to someone else—which veers into romantic infidelity, not just financial infidelity.
In the second scenario, they may have gotten a raise or bonus that they aren’t telling you about. Some partners believe that this should be private information, but if you are sharing bills and other expenses based on income, this type of lying is actually stealing from the other partner. Be ready for a serious discussion, and don’t just drop it if the other party shuts down.
Get the Support You Need with Kirk Drennan Law
Not every marital issue can be overcome. If you’ve decided that divorce is the next step for you, make sure you have an attorney you can trust to help you navigate this challenging time. Reach out to Kirk Drennan Law or call us at 205-803-3500 to figure out your next steps.