Financial infidelity, which is the act of hiding money or secrets about money from a spouse, is probably a lot more common than you realize. Studies indicate that more than 40% of people in America admit that they hide money or spending from their romantic partners.
Should you be worried? Maybe. If your spouse is a paragon of honesty, maybe you can rest easy. However, if you’ve already caught your spouse in a few lies about money, you have every reason to be worried. You may also be justified in worrying when there is a significant amount of money at stake or your spouse seems determined to hang on to most of the marital assets.
Here are some of the most common ways that people hide money and assets from their spouses:
- They open a secret account and send part of their paycheck there. If your spouse gets a bonus or a raise, you may never find out about it.
- They overpay what you owe in taxes. If your spouse always handles the paperwork, that hefty tax return could go straight into their hidden account.
- They make nonexistent loans. It’s amazing how needy your spouse’s parents, siblings and friends can become — and how generous your spouse might suddenly be.
- They have unreported income. Your spouse’s business may suddenly appear to be go downhill, even though your spouse doesn’t seem worried.
- They funnel it into education funds. Your spouse may be hiding assets under the kids’ names “for their education,” fully intending to take all of that money back later.
- They transfer ownership of assets. Stocks can disappear and reappear in a business partner’s name. Works of art, vehicles and boats suddenly find new owners.
A determined spouse can get endlessly creative about ways to hide income and assets. You can, however, often uncover what’s being done with just a little digging. Find out how our office may be able to help with your high-asset divorce.