No matter how you manage your money during your marriage, committing financial infidelity could create some problems. Financial infidelity refers to the act of keeping money from your partner. And according to a recent survey, 57 percent of millennials, 37 percent of Gen Xers and 28 percent of baby boomers say they have committed financial infidelity in their marriage.
Considering how common it is for someone to keep money secret during a marriage, readers should know how this could affect a divorce.
Dividing assets in a divorce is not a game, but when someone lies about money, parties can wind up playing hide-and-seek with money and property.
During a divorce, parties must fully disclose their assets and liabilities. Hiding something to shield it from the division process is unlawful, and it can further complicate the divorce. Parties may have to spend time and money conducting financial investigations to ensure they have a full and accurate picture of assets.
Losing more than trust
People who hide assets or misrepresent their financial resources could ultimately suffer some serious consequences. They may have to pay more in their settlement; they could even face criminal penalties.
Further, any chance that spouses could be amicable and work out a settlement themselves may evaporate if there is no longer any trust. Options like mediation may no longer be feasible, and spouses could end up battling in court.
Protecting your financial future
Rather than attempt to conceal assets in the act of self-preservation, you should know that there are legitimate ways to protect your financial future in a divorce.
This can include working with your attorney to identify separate property, request spousal support, or negotiate a settlement that allows you to keep specific property or minimize your debt obligations. While these measures can seem less “reliable” than stashing money or hiding assets, they can be the best ways to get a fair settlement without facing financial penalties and criminal consequences.
Money is one of the biggest contributing factors to divorce. It is also one of the most complicated elements in a divorce. As such, it is helpful to know what to expect from the property division process and how you can lawfully protect what you deserve.