Financial infidelity, as a cause of divorce here in Orange County, California, is more common than most people think. It’s actually not unusual for a spouse to not to know many things about their partner, including how they are spending their family’s money. There are ways to help couples avoid the temptation of spending without the knowledge of their spouse, and help encourage more honesty towards each other regarding their finances.
Why is Financial Infidelity a Fast Rising Cause of Divorce?
Financial infidelity is lying or purposely hiding pertinent information involving the spending of money from one’s spouse. Many people find it mind-boggling that a person’s finances could actually be hidden from them by their partner. Married couples file their taxes at the end of each year, and so it is quite intriguing how a spouse could hide his or her secret expenditures throughout the year. When people file for taxes, it’s relatively easy to scan through the documents to find questionable spending.
The truth is that financial infidelity is a rising cause of divorce these days. And the act of secretly spending money can go on for many years for many couples before one spouse finally finds out. There are also cases where the dishonest spending isn’t the cause of divorce, but is only discovered when they go through the separation process.
If Something Seems Off, Go Check Into It!
Many might wonder: “How could this be possible?” How can secrecy like this go on for so long? Well, the common reason is that people do not pay attention to how their spouse spends money, often for months and years on end.
At McNamee Mediations, we absolutely encourage trust among couples. But we also strongly advise them to pay attention to their finances. One of the reasons why financial dishonesty has become an increasingly popular cause for many marital separations is that people intentionally choose to ignore their finances when they should in fact check and evaluate their financial situation. This is especially true when their instincts tell them something may be wrong. Our instincts are oftentimes right, and if your gut feeling tells you that something is off with your finances, you must make a choice to investigate.
Don’t Just Sign Without Reading!
How could one get away with lying about their spending when couples file taxes annually? How is it possible not to see the expenditures of your spouse year after year?
Some people don’t check what they file. Some spouses will just sign their name on whatever their partners have prepared for them to sign without bothering to check on it. Regardless what document it is, signing without reading is a very dangerous practice. A lot of people have found themselves in a lot of legal problems just because they signed documents without reading through what was written.
Practical Advice on How to Avoid Financial Infidelity
Most of the time, the people who find themselves in financial infidelity problems are couples who have separate bank accounts. When a couple has two or more accounts, they have a difficult time tracking each other’s expenditures, and consequently, the chances for dishonest spending are higher.
Have One Main Bank Account
Here at McNamee Mediations, many married couples ask us how to avoid situations where financial unfaithfulness can arise. We often recommend that they only have one account that all of their income goes into. And then, if the couple wants to have separate operating expenses for their personal enjoyment, they may decide to have separate accounts that receive an allocated amount of money from the main account. The couple decides how much allowance they should give each other. Ideally, both couples should receive the same amount of allowance every month.
For example, if each partner in the couple receives $2,500 dollars every month to spend on personal and discretionary expenses, all of the remaining money stays in the primary account, and is easily tracked and managed. This arrangement makes it less likely to have situations where financial infidelity arises.
Get Legal Advice from a Reputable Family Law and Divorce Mediation Specialist
Sometimes family conflicts involving finances can be resolved without involving litigation. Colleen at McNamee Mediations is a trained and licensed Family Mediator with years of experience helping couples and families resolve conflicts. If you’re struggling with the results of financial infidelity, or other conflicts, and think a mediator might be a solution, don’t hesitate to call us.
If you are at the stage of divorce and need help through the process, or you just want to ask a few questions about the implications of divorce, calling us would be a great step. Colleen specializes in divorce intervention, and gives sound counsel for couples who are planning to separate. Call her today at (949) 223 3836 or email her at ColleenMcNamee@MMediations.com!
The process of going through a divorce can be really difficult. Lessen the stress by getting the best advice possible.